Taking advantage of April Fools Day, Newcastle University students on Sunday night changed the name of the University to Sport Direct.com University. Well would you believe it.
The new signs at Newcastle University
Having spent three years in the late 1960s as a post-graduate student there – when it was still called Newcastle University – I know how the students can be a bit wild – especially after a few beers in the Union.
But this beats the lot.
And here’s the piece taken directly from the Newcastle Student Union, about the caper:
Newcastle has come under the spotlight today, after members of the general public quickly noticed that the University has sold the naming rights to some of its buildings, and that of the organisation itself.
Taking place under the cover of darkness on Sunday night; early commuters arrived to see a crane replacing the University’s iconic logo with that of Sports Direct. However, whilst this may be a growing trend in other industries, with the local St. James’ Park having undergone a similar path in recent years, students have been in uproar to the news that they would be now attending, and receiving their degrees from, the ‘Sports Direct University’.
Whilst an official press conference has been announced for Tuesday to discuss the changes, University spokesman Ru Jokin described the developments as “a fantastic opportunity to bring in some money, that will really improve the services that we provide our students with”.
Comments from Sports Direct were more forthcoming, as their Marketing Director Haven Alaff enthusiastically spouted “You can’t find a better advertising opportunity beyond every student having ‘Sports Direct University’ on their CV’s, for the rest of their lives.”
Changes haven’t just halted at Kings’ Gate either, as the University looks to maximise future revenue, with the announcement that several other historic buildings would see similar name changes. These include, the newly crowned ‘Burger King’s Hall’, and ‘Robinson Fruit Shoot Library’, which are likely to provoke not just anger amongst current students, but also a certain amount of laughter from rival Northumbria students.
In what the University are championing as their “Global Appeal”, they have also won the backing of a US multi-national chocolate manufacturer, as the Herschel Building is to be known as ‘The Hershey’s Building’ from September. As part of this exclusivity deal, it has been agreed that all on campus vending machines, shops, and cafes, must only sell Hershey’s products, removing the options of Cadbury’s and Mars.
It’s all an April Fools spoof.
And did you hear the one about Jose Mourinho coming to Newcastle in the summer – but from what we can tell – that one is actually true.
You can also reach Ed at firstname.lastname@example.org