The Lansing State Journal reports this morning that Lansing-based Thomas M. Cooley Law School, the nation’s largest, has purchased naming rights for what has heretofore been Oldsmobile Park. Maybe they’ll replace all the chrome decorations with dark wood panelling….
Seriously, though, this makes sense. Cooley’s got a stake not just in Lansing, but in the immediate neighborhood; perhaps they’ll find some synergies and certainly the school cares about the vicinity. And if Cooley Law wants to use the ball team to advertise, why is that worse than an insurance company or a hospital? Or a car manufacturer, for that matter?
Thomas Cooley was a member of the Michigan Supreme Court for a couple decades, immediately after the Civil War; after his court tenure, he was appointed the first chairman of the Interstate Commerce Commission in 1887. I encountered his name occasionally in another life while studying nineteenth century business practices, and nearly everyone says he personally gave the Michigan Supreme Court its dignity–our state was, after all, quite young during his term.
Knowing my political opinions, I’m reasonably certain I’d not have liked the man had I been his contemporary, but he’s an important figure in Michigan history.
My preferred name for Lansing’s ballyard would be The REO Diamond. But it’s not gonna happen.