At the moment, advertising is everywhere in sports. At every court, field, course, ring, rink and track advertisements are found broadcasted on the outfield walls or displayed on a competitor’s back. Companies squeeze their name and logo anywhere there is ample space, undoubtedly filling every nook and cranny of a stadium. Corporations are beginning to mark their territory more excessively by strategically placing ads anywhere space permits.
Recently while watching a collegiate football game I noticed that Allstate ads are found on the nets behind the uprights. So every time a kicker boots a successful kick every spectator can catch a glimpse of Allstate’s logo. This is simply ridiculous. I fail understand the logic in presenting an insurance ad to rabid football fans. It doesn’t make sense.
The persistence and exhaustive nature of these ads are beginning to detract from the game being played. Sports fans are seeing more and more advertising and significantly less sports action, which isn’t acceptable. Tradition is being diminished by the motives of greedy companies and capitalistic implications.
Overbearing advertising tactics aren’t new to the sports scene. Athletes have been participating in commercials for what seems like an eternity, which is fine. Athletes have a right to participate in business endeavors off the field.
Furthermore they should be encouraged to do this brand of advertising because it doesn’t conflict with a fan’s attempt to watch a game and they are benefiting from and utilizing their self-created reputation. Selling a product in a commercial is one form of promotion but when companies use sports in an attempt to market the entire company it is wrong.
In recent years the competition in marketing in sports has drastically intensified. It seems as though every college bowl game has a sponsor, the Orange Bowl is no longer referred to by its original name, and it is now called the FedEx Orange Bowl. The Fiesta Bowl is the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl and the Sugar Bowl is the Nokia Sugar Bowl.
The list of marketing motivated alterations to the name of bowl games is endless. Renaming bowl games is only one transformation that exists throughout the world of sports – additional trends exist. Another is that nearly every stadium is named after a multimillion-dollar corporation. The few stadiums remaining with meaningful names such as Yankee Stadium, Fenway Park or Lambeau Field will most definitely either be replaced or renamed sometime in the near future.
This current trend is unquestionably upsetting to traditional sports aficionados. We are deprived a sense of connection with the stadiums and the games that transpire in their confines. Sports have become tremendously mainstream and in the process has eliminated the relationships that not only players have with fans but the essence of going to the ballpark to watch a game.
The idea of sports being solely a spectator sport has vanished and has been substituted with games that include an emphasis on advertising. Instead of making the players and the coaches the focal point during a broadcast often times marketing and advertising impede.
Therefore much of the emphasis is placed on companies and corporations and not the actual game and its participants. For example there is a sponsor for the first and ten line, that yellow line that signifies a first down. Yes, that is the extent that sports and marketing have intertwined.
It really is pitiful the extremes some will stoop to in order to garner a few dollars. The people behind these advertising and marketing schemes are corrupting sports and are creating an atmosphere that is too engrossed in marketing products and isn’t concerned enough with the integrity of sports. These current trends are progressively corrupting sports, making it too mainstream. The true definition of the word sports is something that we will inevitably and unfortunately know less about if current marketing trends continue.