On April 27, 2011, the City of Altoona, Pennsylvania will change its name to “POM Wonderful Presents The Greatest Movie Ever Sold, PA.” The name rights, purchased by filmmaker Morgan Spurlock and his production company Warrior Poets, to promote their latest film, POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold, will last for 60 days, with the money from the rights sale going to the City of Altoona Police Department. Now, how much did Altoona charge, and has Spurlock thought about some film website branding (ahem, I can’t sell out if no one is offering to buy, Morgan)? From the official press release:
Oscar-nominated filmmaker Morgan Spurlock and his production company Warrior Poets have finalized a deal to purchase the naming rights for the city of Altoona, Pennsylvania, it was announced today. The city’s new name, POM Wonderful Presents The Greatest Movie Ever Sold, will be effective on April 27, 2011 for 60 days and will be commemorated during a proclamation ceremony to be held at City Hall (130112th Street) at 1PM that afternoon. The ceremony will be followed by a special screening of Spurlock’s new “doc-buster” film “POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold” at the Jaffa Shrine on Broad Avenue in the city formerly known as Altoona.
After an exhaustive search, the city of Altoona was selected by Spurlock because it is “a shining example of struggling cities all across America.” The money received by the city for the naming rights will be designated to the City of Altoona Police Department.
Spurlock’s new film “POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold” is a boundary-pushing exploration of the worlds of product placement, marketing and advertising. The film was fully financed by sponsorship deals documented and arranged by Spurlock throughout the course of the shoot. The film, distributed by Sony Pictures Classics, opens in limited release on April 22, 2011 and will expand across the country in the following weeks.
“I can’t think of a better way to celebrate the shifting tide of business in America than by purchasing the naming rights to Altoona. For the next 60 days, POM Wonderful Presents the Greatest Movie Ever Sold, Pennsylvania will be the most clever example of how an American city is marketing itself today,” Spurlock said.
“Altoona has a rich history and a great story to tell. Morgan is giving us a platform to show the world the hidden treasure found in the Altoona community,” says Altoona Mayor Bill Schirf. “Clearly, the people of Altoona have a sense of humor…and an asking price.”