SAN FRANCISCO-When the San Francisco Giants return to their home stadium next season, they could find themselves playing in SBC Park, as SBC Communications Inc. has announced an official name change from Pac Bell Park as part of a move towards nation-wide branding.

SBC Pacific Bell provided $50 million in 1996 to the Giants to help build the park in exchange for naming privileges. Under the contract, the company holds the right to rename the park at any time. A representative for the Giants could not be reached for comment.

“The industry has become national in scope. The regional companies have given way to national entities…(the name change) is a reflection of that reality,” says SBC spokesman John Britton, explaining that depending on the region, the communications giant goes by Southwestern SBC, SBC Ameritech and SBC Pacific Bell.

“Our main competitors today possess national brands. To compete more effectively, it’s critical for SBC to position itself as what it is – the leading brand in the telecommunications industry,” adds CEO Edward Whitacre.

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