Kingston Communications, or KC as they exclusively brand themselves nowadays (as evidenced by their horrendous new logo, which resembles an Ishihara test for colour-blindness), are to extend their sponsorship of City’s home stadium until 2025, by which time they’ll have had the naming rights to the ground for some 23 years.
Viewed in that perspective, the deal is an impressive commitment by the company towards the area it serves. It’d be churlish not to observe that. Another benefit is that it retains an established identity, there’s no need for new road signs, for guidebooks and websites to be updated with a new moniker etcetera. When the initial deal was signed in 2002, it was to run for ten years, and as 2012 looms so too did the prospect of an imminent change to the stadium’s name – or its official one, of which more in a minute.
Such a change would be mildly disconcerting. Huddersfield experienced this naggingly irksome upheaval when exchanging the logo of construction firm McAlpine for that of cheap paracetamol producer Galpharm on their front door, while other stadia appear to change their official names with bewildering rapidity. It lends a ground, unfairly perhaps, an air of soulless corporate plasticity. And while the KC is never going to be as characterful as Boothferry Park, at least we needn’t worry about suddenly having to call it something else, and worrying it’ll make us look cheap.
Or need we never worry about that anyway? Amber Nectar’s house style has always leaned towards calling our home ‘The Circle’ , in honour of the venue’s original name. The club willingly use this nod to the past in their official postal address. ‘The Circle’ is without doubt a somehow more authentic name for a football stadium. This has never really caught on with Tiger Nationals however, not that it’s worth becoming a shrieking fundamentalist over. The media, local and national, call it ‘The KC’ . City are of course compelled to acknowledge their sponsors. It’s short, snappy, not overly corporate and grubby, and it has stuck. So be it. We knew that things like this were part of the deal when we left The Ark.
Plus, it could be worse. One needn’t search for long to find football stadiums with far worse official names, and ones that have very little connection to their local community (The Emirates Stadium for example, isn’t as implied in Dubai, it’s in North London). For its various faults, KC are at least a Hull company putting money into our area. By the time this new arrangement expires, they’ll have naming rights for almost quarter of a century, which may almost oblige them to continue. City may be playing at the KC Stadium for a very long time.
Meanwhile, we’ll stick with ‘The Circle’ – most of the time…