Monday, January 11, 2010

Official Sponsor of this Team, League or Report

Corporate sponsorships are apparently hard to find. Not content with naming stadiums and race tracks, putting their name and logo on race cars, sport team uniforms, shoes and those signs in athletic venues, they are now naming other things.

This is the cellular telephone or credit card Halftime Report. These highlights are the package delivery air and ground highlights. Network sports personalities have to plug new movies like guests on talk shows. It is the Heisman Trophy presented by a car company. Beer company advertisements rework classic National Football Association highlights to put their light beer cans in the hands of spectators. How long ago were beer cans banned at sporting events because of cans being thrown on the field? Was there a light beer when Vince Lombardi coached the Green Bay Packers? How about when the Pittsburgh Steelers played at Three Rivers, not Catsup Company Field?

Now college football teams face off in a corporate name bowl game formerly known as a different corporate name bowl game. There is an official frozen pizza of University of Wisconsin athletic venues. When the Badger hockey team used to score sufficient goals, it was free ice cream for everyone. I suspect it was formerly Babcock Hall ice cream. Now it is free frozen custard for everyone because a frozen custard company sponsors University of Wisconsin hockey events.

It is going to get worse as the Super Bowl approaches. Already many sponsors are the official sponsors of the National Football League, the National Basketball Association and the National Hockey League. This or that company will be the official sponsor of the Super Bowl. Halftime has already been named for a corporation. Maybe they can get the Who to change their name to the Network Company Who. I am reasonably sure that their songs at halftime will be politically correct. “I Can See for Miles,” not “Won’t Get Fooled Again.”

It will be worse when the Winter Olympics start. Every company will be the official sponsor of the U.S. Olympic Team, Olympic venues or the Olympics as a whole.

Some corporate sponsors became politically incorrect. Stock car drivers competed for the cigarette company cup. The Formula One championship was another cigarette company cup. Race cars have been purged of sponsorships by beer companies and tobacco companies, even smokeless brands. The venue where the Houston professional teams play was named for a company that turned out to be a corporate pirate. More products will become politically incorrect as corporations gobble each other up.

We should not begrudge anyone who employs people or turns a profit. Advertising is part of this formula for success. There is no reason, however, why there needs to be an official frozen pizza of University of Wisconsin sporting events or why there will be an official carbonated beverage of the U.S. Olympic Team.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Give a fool enough rope and he will hang himself...................................................