We hear a lot these days about how this event or that event is going to put Portsmouth on the world stage.
Usually it’s utter nonsense. If we were on the world stage for every little thing we do, we’d be the most famous city in the world.
Did those involved not realise that painting it red and white might not go down too well with Pompey fans?
Of course we’re not.
But what does happen is that every time we host a major sporting event such as the Tour de France in 1994 (and hopefully again in 2018), or when we open a world-class attraction such as the Mary Rose Museum, we raise Portsmouth’s profile a tiny bit and, most importantly, remind ourselves we live in a place with a lot going for it.
And it seems that those years of achieving chorus line status on that world stage has helped attract the attention of serial-sponsor Emirates.
Five years ago we were told our Spinnaker Tower was one of the World Federation Of Great Towers, coming in at number 39 on the list.
To be on the list, buildings must be symbolic of tourism in the surrounding area, be open and functioning as a public area and have an observation deck available to visitors.
Tick, tick and tick.
Five years later, in the 10th year of the Spinnaker Tower opening (five years late) to the public, it’s to be renamed because of a sponsorship deal with Emirates.
Now it is to become known as the Emirates Spinnaker Tower – not surprising seeing as the airline isn’t shy about using its name for stadiums, cable cars and FA Cups.
Fair enough. The tower will still look like a sail, even if it has a new name for the next five years,
The money the deal will bring in might go a little way to replace the rates lost to the council when LD Lines stopped offering cross-Channel travel from the city.
The tower will be only the second non-sporting icon in the UK to be sponsored by Emirates, and will stand beside arts and cultural events in Dubai, plus famous sporting teams and events around the globe to bear the airline’s name.
But did those involved not realise that painting it red and white might not go down too well with Pompey fans?