The Sports Circus
A tad over a decade ago, I attended a professional baseball game with my grandfather. As always, I enjoyed the game and everything that encompassed the event around it. Attending baseball games was a real part of my childhood.
My grandfather did not enjoy the event. In fact, he related the event to a circus. He was disturbed by how much attending a sporting event had changed since the last time he went (which had probably been at the very least a few decades).
He grew up attending sporting events where the main focus was just simply the game itself. No music. No billboards. No mid-inning antics. Just baseball.
Times have certainly a changed.
Much to many old folks’ dismay, advertisements and antics are now everywhere you look at a professional sporting event.
The majority of elders, my grandfather included, are off put by this. However, as a millennial and former sport management major, I do see the allure to some extent.
The goal for all sports organizations across the world is to put people in the seats. What does this do? It makes money. How do you do that? By catering to all fans. It’s that simple. Every fan isn’t a die-hard baseball fan. You need extra antics to keep them coming back.
You may think shooting hotdogs into the stands and doing team trivia in between innings is a little much. But the reality is this is what makes the toddler at the game a baseball fan. I could go on and on. You may not like it, but hopefully you see the point.
NOW, what I do not like is the advertisement craze that has been steadily increasing ever since I have been an avid sports watcher, circa 2004.
Obviously it is a bit of an eye soar seeing advertisements on every inch of the outfield wall at baseball games, the boards at hockey games, ect..
But I guess you can understand why. It brings in the money.
Now, below are some things that I completely disagree with:
· Commercials in football. What the hell?! Every minute there’s a commercial break. Something needs to give. I don’t care how much money is coming in. The NFL is rich enough. This really disrupts the flow of the game.
· Helmet advertisements in the NHL. The NHL, a horribly run league, has taken after the NBA jersey advertisements (also BS), and this year for the first time sold spots on each team’s helmet to the highest bidder. Disgusting.
· Finally, another dummy decision by the NHL: They have begun airing an advertisement at the top of each blue line while game action is going on. It’s one thing to paint an advertisement on the ice. It is another to project it while play is going on. It just looks strange. Unfortunate.
In sum, I do understand why organizations sell out with sponsorships and advertisements. It brings in the cash. And with Corona, it is needed now more than ever.
But there is a fine line. And I fear that it is being crossed as we speak. Let’s hope it doesn’t turn into a full blown circus…
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