Thursday, April 01, 2010

Poland ceases to exist; Sells name to corporate sponsor

(Warsaw, IKEA) The country formerly known as Poland has sold its naming rights to corporate giant IKEA. The deal was struck in a meeting of the IKEA board of directors and ministers of the previously Polish state.

“The thing is,” Donald Tusk, prime minister of the used to be ethnically named territory, “In the current business climate, decisions need to be made which allow for the balancing of budgets and for accommodations to be made. Corporations have been buying the naming rights to sport stadiums for years and this doesn’t stop anyone from going to them, so we say said, hey, we have got to get in on this scam.”

The new official name of the territory will be either Ikea-vania, the Ikea-lands or simply IKEA.

Lech Kaczynski, president of the country which might have been Poland, added in that the choice was also influenced by his own Ikea experiences. “I like the meatballs at the food courts.”

Dag Sorenstam, spokesman for Ingvar Kamprad, the original fonder of the global IKEA chain explained to reporters, “A good corporation needs to be aware of the trends of the market place. We saw a potentially undeveloped market and exploited the situation, which is what we do. People like to come to Ilea stores. We have everything you want in an IKEA store.”

The name change officially begins next Tuesday with the unveiling of the new blue and yellow IKEA flag, which is to be flown over all public meetings, on holidays and over government buildings. The right facing, crowned bird symbol of Poland is also to be replaced with a depiction of an end table.

“It was logical to understand,” Continued Sorenstam, “They had employee problems and with corruption and with people running away. They had great budget issues and a bad reputation. We felt we could turn things around for them image wise and that this would help to rebuild how they are seen in the world. I mean, say a man tells his wife: I am going to Poland on business. Is she going to believe him? Hell no! He might as well say: Oh, I am going to drink beer and chase prostitutes, because that is what she would be thinking. IKEA is a cleaner, safer place. People all over the world like coming to us. And the people of, you know, that country, they wanted a piece of the action and to try and make an image someone might believe in for a change.”

The cost of the 10 year naming rights contract included PLN 20 million (5.18m Euro, $7 million USD) in cash, and the use of an IKEA discount card for the people of the president’s office and members of the Ikea-nise Selm.

This is the second time the name Poland has disappeared from the map. From 1795 to 1918, the three partitions of Poland (1772, 1793, and 1795) culminated in Poland's being erased from the map of Europe and its territories being divided between Russia, Prussia, and Austria.

“Come on,” Added, Kaczynski, “IKEA’s cool. And it’s not like we’ve never done it before…”