A Schwartz By Any Other Name Would Smell as Sweet.
With the usual combination of fanfare and grumbling, it was announced
last month that, in exchange for a gift of $5 million, Oregon State
University’s Parker Stadium was being renamed Reser’s
Stadium, after the fine local company of the same name. And the
annual gridiron clash of Beavers and Ducks will now be the Brought
to You by Your NW Dodge Dealers Civil War Game. OSU also made it
known that other naming “opportunities” were available,
albeit showing what must have been painful restraint in neglecting
to distribute a price list.
While some people viewed this bit of news as yet another nail in
the dilapidated coffin of civilization as we know it, I was inspired.
More than inspired—you could say that I had an epiphany. You
could also say that it was just a bad case of indigestion.
Whatever the reason, it dawned on me that I have been letting a
tremendous opportunity for good go unrealized. I, therefore, today
announce that I, Todd Schwartz, am making myself available—in
the cause of the less fortunate—for unique (and certainly
high-profile) naming opportunities.
a donation of $1 million, I will change my middle name for a period
of five years (no loss there—I don’t use it for anything).
Todd Columbia Sportswear Schwartz, for example. For $5 million,
I will change my first or last name: Restoration Hardware Schwartz,
say, or perhaps Todd Regence Bluecross Blueshield. For a contribution
of $10 million or more, I will pretty much call myself anything
Event-related sponsorships are also available. Consider the Brought
to You By Kaady Car Washes Morning Shower, perhaps. Or the Presented
by Tommy Hilfiger Drive to the Grocery Store.
This is an unparalleled opportunity for your business to, as they
say, both do good and do well. As a freelance writer, my—or,
should I say, your—name will appear in front of literally
several people in the coming years. The exposure for your enterprise
will be—well, let’s just say that this town is my oyster,
and I don’t limit myself to the Pearl District, if you catch
And who will your generosity benefit? As I wrote: “the less
fortunate.” I serve on the board of director of the Freedom
from Legitimate Employment Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to
eradicating the shocking need in this community for me, Todd Your
Name Here, to do any actual work.
I can hear you scoffing. Either that or you have a serious respiratory
ailment. How will that benefit the less fortunate, you ask? Well,
I am certainly less fortunate than, for instance, Paul Allen. Here
are some of the frightful conditions that add up to the sort of
need that is impossible to ignore (and be warned, gentle reader,
what follows is not pretty):
We live (if you can call it living) in a house with only TWO bedrooms.
No one—NO ONE—in the household has a sport utility vehicle
(not even one of the little fake ones). Two people must share a
single, and fairly large, cell phone. We must make do with only
basic cable service—can you imagine life without a single
premium channel? And the largest TV screen in the house is a pathetic
27 inches! We own nary a stick of vacation property—not even
a lousy timeshare...
I think I’ve made my point. Only your gift can end this tragic
middle-classness. Picture me: proudly answering to, signing and
promoting your business name, throughout the metropolitan area and
sometimes even in Gresham—while you bask in the knowledge
that you have made this a better world. For me.
And what more can any of us do?
Todd Schwartz is a writer living in Portland.
Unless, for a sizable donation, you’d like him to live somewhere