Tuesday, August 06, 2002

More news from Boston: the Patriots' new state-of-the-art stadium was originally supposed to come with a new state-of-the-art name: CMGI Field, named for a dynamic titan of local Internet business.

CMGI started out as the College Marketing Group, Inc., a fairly small direct marketing firm, which was spun up by its majordomo, David Wetherell, into a holding company of Internet businesses, many highly touted even before their products or, well, stuff was available to the public. CMGI stock became known to entusiastic investors as "the monster"; some put their whole lifes savings into the stock. The stadium naming deal might have been seen as a poor investment for a holding company that didn't deal at all with the public directly, but it was only $114 million --- a trifle for a company with a market capitalization in the tens of billions, which was accustomed to buying things with stock swaps.

The stock price at that peak, after several splits, was around $150 per share. CMGI closed yesterday at 40 cents. The Patriots' showpiece will be known, for the next fifteen years, as Gillette Stadium. So much for the New Economy.


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