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    « The Carnival of HR - Super Bowl Edition | Main | The people that actually use the technology »
    Tuesday
    Feb022010

    Shirt Sponsorships

    Why don't American professional sports franchises in the 'major' sports (NFL, NBA, MLB) enter into lucrative jersey sponsorship deals as is common in the rest of the world?

    English top-level soccer clubs command as much as $30M per year for such arrangements.

    It can't truly be some sort of argument for the 'purity' of the games, every other aspect of the presentation and broadcast of the games themselves is 'sponsored' already.  Next Sunday's Super Bowl game will be played in 'Sun Life Stadium'. And no, 'Sun Life' is not a reference to Miami's carefree, sun-filled lifestyle, it is named for Sun Life Financial corporation, a large financial services company.

    Advertising is plastered on most available surfaces in stadiums already, and on television broadcasts everything from timeouts, in-game statistical graphics, and the pre-game, halftime, and post-game shows are all 'brought to you by' some (insert from the following, beer, insurance, male impotency drug) company.

    But for some reason, corporate sponsorships on the jerseys/uniforms themselves are still resisted, I think mostly from the notion that corporate logos on the players is just too much commercialism encroaching on the sanctity (ahem) of the competition.

    To me it is both hypocritical and silly.

    Organizations could benefit from the exposure and if they choose the right club; the association with success, or even a team's reputation for a  particular style of play.  In the NBA, a team like the San Antonio Spurs that are known for attention to detail, strong leadership, team play, and excellence would be a good fit for a precision manufacturing firm, or perhaps an accounting and audit services group. Maybe Intel or IBM would be a good fit.

    The Los Angeles Clippers, who have a legacy of bad luck, poor management, and unfortunate player injuries, might be a good fit for a personal injury law firm, hospital, or insurance company.  I could see the Aflac Duck adorning the Clips' jerseys.

    The funny thing is shirt sponsorships are common in American youth sports, most every kids soccer, baseball, or hockey team has a local shirt sponsor.  The chief function seems to be to the right to post the framed team picture on the wall at the end of the season. 

    And when the partnership between the sponsoring corporation and the team is a perfect match, it can strengthen both parties and reinforce their brands.  

    It worked for the Bad News Bears right?

    So what team would you like to see your organization's name on?

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    Reader Comments (6)

    If it is good enough for Chico's Bail Bonds, it is good enough for me.

    February 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterakaBruno

    It works in soccer and cycling.

    February 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDave Anderson

    @AKA - Chico's Bail Bonds is a killer sponsor1

    @Dave - I agree - only a matter of time until it is common in NFL, NBA etc.

    February 2, 2010 | Registered CommenterSteve

    Seriously, the Bad News Bears would be the perfect team for me. Or the Chicago Cubs.

    "Dare to Fail Spectacularly!"

    Seriously, whichever.

    February 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJason Seiden

    I have long fought against corporate sponsorships of any kind in the public schools because the students have no choice when it comes to the abiiity to vote with their pocketbook by refusing to enter a stadium or support a team with an unwanted sponsor.

    Pro sports is an entirely different matter, and I wish that pro sports would use more corporate sponsorships and then pass any income to the fans by way of lower ticket prices. So many, many people can't afford to see even the most hapless teams.

    I know, because I spend a fortune on Detroit Lions tickets every year. Jason needs to sponsor them - please.

    February 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJoan Ginsberg

    @Jason - It would be classic to see the Cubbies take the field with your 'Fail Spectacularly' logo on their jerseys!

    @Joan - Thanks and I agree with your point about the schools. As for the pro teams, it is only a matter of time I think. The Lions could use all the help they can get!

    February 3, 2010 | Registered CommenterSteve

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