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Onondaga Co. Legislature approves new name for Lakeview Amphitheater

The Lakeview Amphitheater will now be called St. Joseph's Health Amphitheater at Lakeview.

After two summers, the Lakeview Amphitheater will now go by a new name.

A 13-4 vote by the Onondaga County Legislature on Tuesday gave the go-ahead to the St. Joseph's Health Amphitheater at Lakeview, after St. Joseph's Hospital.

Chairman Ryan McMahon said this will provide revenue for venue repairs to avoid using taxpayer dollars.

"There's been many sponsorships at the amphitheater, but there hasn't been the naming rights of the building sponsorship," McMahon said. "Just like when you go into the Carrier Dome and you see Crouse's name blasted all over the Carrier Dome, when you go to the Lakeview Amphitheater, you'll see the St. Joseph's Health logo all over the Amphitheater."

The cost for St. Joseph's is $750,000 for a multi-year agreement.

But what's the return on their investment?

Rebecca Ortiz, an assistant professor of advertising at Syracuse University said there are pros and cons.

"A lot of potential for longevity in the name sticking around and being something that people associate, hopefully with something positive, like the amphitheater," Ortiz said.

She said it's all about finding the right fit between sponsor and venue — and there are some downsides to keep an eye on.

"The amphitheater was not originally known as being a St. Joseph's-affiliated or affiliated sponsorship, so people may continue to call it Lakeview Amphitheater and the brand name may not connect or stick with it," Ortiz said.

Ortiz said this upcoming season for the amphitheater will be telling.

"It would be in their best interest to really go out in the community and see are people actually associating with amphitheater with the brand, or are they still associating with the original name," Ortiz said.

That leaves many to wonder how this partnership along the shores of Onondaga Lake will play out.

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