Now, prior to this trip to Phoenix I had never heard of Jobing.com. Craigslist? Yes. Monster? Of course. Careebuilder? Obviously. Yahoo Hot Jobs? Check. I've even heard of smaller sites like jobfox (they have a billboard on the 101). But never Jobing.com - and yet here they had naming rights for a prominent arena. In fact it was just last October that they shelled out the $30 million for the these rights.
OK, so was it money well spent? Am I just out of touch? Are they an uber-successful site that I just never heard of? Unfortunately for them, doesn't seem so. According to Alexa, their traffic rank is 4,787, well behind the competition. In fact, Alexa seems to show that their traffic is actually down since they spent all that money on naming rights.
Well, Alexa is notoriously unreliable anyway, right? The company must be doing well in Phoenix where the naming is heard/ seen most? They must have lots of job listings there? Actually, no. According to the site, they have about 1700 total listings in Phoenix. Pretty impressive until you count that Craig had over 1100 listings added to his site just today.
$30 million for those naming rights. Ugh.
What would I have done with that money instead? Well, come up with a better name for starters. There is a word "jobbing"but as you can see that has two b's. When i first saw the sign on the arena, I really wasn't sure whether it was pronounced jobbing or jo-bing. That's not good.
In my mind things like naming rights are great for brand maintenance or brand enhancement, but terrible for brand building. Quick way to test whether your web-site should buy naming rights: if you're tempted to include the .com part of your URL in the new name of the stadium, you're not ready. Everyone knows that there is only one domain that counts: .com. Successful brands (Yahoo, Google, ebay, etc.) online don't include the .com in their marketing because everyone knows where to find them.
If your inclination is to include the .com in the name, it means you don't have an established web brand and you're looking at the naming rights as a traffic buy. Naming rights are a really bad, expensive way to buy traffic. Instead, spend the $30 million somewhere else where you can actually get some real traffic for your money. If you do that and lots of other things really, really well and you eventually succeed in building a brand then, at that point, go ahead and name a stadium after your company. You've earned it.