PDA

View Full Version : OT: Sponsorships and Uniforms



duke dynamite
06-05-2009, 09:10 AM
Well, as most of you know LifeLock was given the go to slap their name on the Phoenix Mercury's jerseys for 3 years and "seven-figures" according to our beloved Kelly Krauskopf http://tinyurl.com/q9v5yk.

This article also explains that they are exploring options to see if the Fever can do something similar. If you remember in a previous season or two ago, McDonald's took over a small spot under the collar of their jerseys for certain games that were nationally televised.

Even their logo that is used in local media has the Community Health Network's signage at the bottom.

Obviously we know corporate sponsorships in European football are big. Heck, even MLS slaps sponsors on the front of the teams' shirts.

My question is, how do most of you feel about this? Does sponsorship branding steal the identity of teams, or does it matter?

Sure, something like this could easily solve many of the sports franchises in the US, but is it a good idea?

How would you feel if all the sudden the Pacers were now the Clarian Health Pacers?

ABADays
06-05-2009, 11:01 AM
I suppose you gotta do what you gotta do in these times. I'm OK with it as long as it doesn't dwarf the real brand - the Indiana Pacers. Sounds like from the article the corporate logo is the focus rather than the team name. That I don't like. Used to be I knew where every stadium or bowl game was played. Now I don't. Another thing I don't like is bankrupt companies or corporations receiving bailout money being allowed to retain naming rights. That should be the first thing gone in the restructuring. It's a frivolous expenditure and nothing could convince me there is that much benefit to an airline or insurance company having naming right.

And lastly, AIG should not be allowed to spend money like that for ANYTHING! Those idiots took their name off their building in Manhattan - why should they be allowed to have it elsewhere?

Brad8888
06-05-2009, 11:08 AM
While I don't like the idea due to the Euroleague feel it would give the league, it might be minimized to an extent if it were put more like "Indiana Pacers, brought to you in part by Clarian Health" and had rotating sponsorships. However, I'm not sure this is even a good idea. I voted undecided.

Frostwolf
06-05-2009, 11:33 AM
I think this whole fear about team identity being subsumed into the corporate sponsor thing in the US sports market is simply because the teams are not "teams" but "franchises." Basically teams have been relocated without a second thought, slapped on a new name and life goes on for them (see Lakers, Jazz, Hornets, Bobcats, Thunder... the list goes on and on). I guess that's where the fear stems from.

The vast majority of football clubs (soccer to you folks) worldwide would simply laugh at such a fear - because they are "clubs" first and foremost. They enjoy an individual identity that is much more recognisable and relatable to most sports franchises in any US sport (though this may be due to the very centralised nature of such leagues).

My club, Arsenal, are sponsored by Nike and Emirates Airlines and thus wear Nike gear with Emirates splashed across the front. This is what the new away shirt looks like:

http://replicaroom.com/productsImages/0910ArsenalA-Short.jpg

Although the Fly Emirates logo is pretty big, it's not garish nor ugly nor as prominent as you'd expect. And no-one would mistake it for a team called "The Fly Emirates Arsenal" or whatever.

I mean, you have NY Red Bull in the MLS, but that's a very weird and outlying case.

Just my two cents. The Pacers (I believe) still have a very strong and unique identity among most NBA observers and in the state of Indiana itself, and having a shirt sponsor won't be degrading this image in any way, and ultimately would matter to us Pacer fans, as long as it's integrated in a tasteful way into the uniform.

But actual team naming rights... now that's another matter. The Clarian Health Pacers?

Thankfully I don't see this being implemented anywhere in the near future. *knockwood*

duke dynamite
06-05-2009, 11:41 AM
For the record, I used Clarian Health as an example. Mainly because they regained a sponsorship over an area in the building. The Clarian Health Entry Pavilion. First thing that popped in my mind. lol

In no way are there talk or rumors of the Pacers gaining an actual sponsor in the context we are in.

ABADays
06-05-2009, 11:43 AM
Ahhhh . . . . Emirates. The best airline I have even flown on.

Frostwolf
06-05-2009, 11:51 AM
For the record, I used Clarian Health as an example. Mainly because they regained a sponsorship over an area in the building. The Clarian Health Entry Pavilion. First thing that popped in my mind. lol

In no way are there talk or rumors of the Pacers gaining an actual sponsor in the context we are in.

I know... it sounds horrible. But it would be nice to get a nice flow of income (very substantial, would help our situation a LOT) in exchange for a shirt sponsorship deal... though the problem is that teams have their logo/name thing that takes up most of the space at the front.

I'd love to see the actual team crest (logo) used more on the shirt, maybe have it on the left chest like in the pic I posted earlier, and then have the sponsor in the middle. Dunno how it'd turn out though, especially given the form factor of a basketball jersey.

grace
06-05-2009, 12:06 PM
Big Ten uniforms already have that God awful Nike swish on them so as far as I'm concerned if someone wants to pay for it the might as well have sponsors.

count55
06-05-2009, 12:13 PM
Why do I keep thinking of the "Bad News Bears"?

ABADays
06-05-2009, 01:04 PM
Why do I keep thinking of the "Bad News Bears"?

Chico's Bail Bonds :laugh:

Hicks
06-05-2009, 01:10 PM
I'm not opposed to small patches, but I don't like having a big ad in the center and I despise the idea of doing what the Mercury just did by replacing their own name (on the jersey) with the sponsor's name.

count55
06-05-2009, 01:11 PM
Chico's Bail Bonds :laugh:

http://gamesnet.vo.llnwd.net/o1/gamestar/objects/285477_main.jpg

Yes, this would have been both funnier and more painful had this conversation been had two or three years ago.

ABADays
06-05-2009, 01:34 PM
I'm not opposed to small patches, but I don't like having a big ad in the center and I despise the idea of doing what the Mercury just did by replacing their own name (on the jersey) with the sponsor's name.

Absolutely agree.

duke dynamite
06-05-2009, 01:41 PM
I'm not opposed to small patches, but I don't like having a big ad in the center and I despise the idea of doing what the Mercury just did by replacing their own name (on the jersey) with the sponsor's name.
Yeah, like I said earlier something like this could totally diminish any form of identity that a team could have. A pactch is a good idea if this is necessary. Maybe something on the warm-ups.

Look, money is great. We all want it, we all need it. I don't need it this badly.

Trader Joe
06-05-2009, 03:24 PM
Hmmm, it's huge in Europe. My favorite soccer team, FC Barcelona, has never had a sponsor. Unicef is on their jerseys now, but that space is donated to them, and there had never been anything but the Barcelona logo on the jerseys up until that point.

If done tastefully, I don't see anything wrong with it. Everyone loves NASCAR and they're just moving billboard.

Trophy
06-05-2009, 03:36 PM
So their uniforms don't say Mercury or Phoenix on them anymore?

duke dynamite
06-05-2009, 03:48 PM
So their uniforms don't say Mercury or Phoenix on them anymore?
http://www.wnba.com/media/mercury/lifelock_taurasi_todd_300.jpg

Trophy
06-05-2009, 03:49 PM
I can understand maybe the sponsor on the top corner of their uniform but not as the uniform's name.

duke dynamite
06-05-2009, 03:50 PM
If done tastefully, I don't see anything wrong with it. Everyone loves NASCAR and they're just moving billboard.
Auto racing is a completely different animal when it comes to sponsorships.

Trader Joe
06-05-2009, 03:55 PM
Auto racing is a completely different animal when it comes to sponsorships.

I think that a similar rationale can be applied. Drivers and teams would still make money without those sponsors.

Rasmus
06-05-2009, 03:58 PM
Come and visit some euro basketball games or the very best example - Estonian League - here you'll see, what sponsors will do - it's possible, that a team will change he's name every year. But when you want to play, then you need to do it (even if the name will not look so nice)
Little jersey example
http://www.bckalev.ee/graafika/players/2/kurbas.jpg

BTW - the guy - Tanel Kurbas - is registered in this years draft :)

Trophy
06-05-2009, 04:04 PM
Racings more individual than other sports so I understand having sponsors on their uniforms and car.

Trader Joe
06-05-2009, 04:05 PM
Racings more individual than other sports so I understand having sponsors on their uniforms and car.

How come tennis players and golfers don't slap Tide and McDonald's logos on their chests?

Trophy
06-05-2009, 04:07 PM
How come tennis players and golfers don't slap Tide and McDonald's logos on their chests?

Who knows. Less money needed for what they do.

pacerDU
06-05-2009, 04:32 PM
I'm originally from Australia and like with most sports leagues outside the US, the NBL (Australia's national bball league) has a heavy sponsorship influence.

I've never really noticed any confusion or loss of identity with the sponsorship. Having said that, I've always liked the "pure" look of major American sports. The NBA, NFL, MLB etc uniforms are so much cleaner, as they're designed around one major theme and haven't got numerous company logos, with conflicting colors plastered all over them.

With the current financial climate as it is, it may eventually become an option for the NBA. I don't think anyone should worry about a loss of identity, because in my experience, sponsorship doesn't really affect that. If it means the survival of a league then it's obviously the way to go. I hope it doesn't come to that however, because as I mentioned before, there's a kind of purity in a uniform with no sponsorship.

duke dynamite
06-05-2009, 05:12 PM
I think that a similar rationale can be applied. Drivers and teams would still make money without those sponsors.
I really don't want to go off tangent, but I disagree. Hendrick Motorsports, the most successful team in NASCAR, has had to result in landing Jeff Gordon a new associate sponsor since NASCAR banned Nicorette from being on the car. The National Guard stepped into that role. With that said they were left scrambling because Jeff offered to reduce his salary (which did happen) so that the team could continue to function comfortably along with the Guard as a sponsor. NG and Dupont now share primary sponsorship.

duke dynamite
06-05-2009, 05:15 PM
I'm originally from Australia and like with most sports leagues outside the US, the NBL (Australia's national bball league) has a heavy sponsorship influence.

I've never really noticed any confusion or loss of identity with the sponsorship. Having said that, I've always liked the "pure" look of major American sports. The NBA, NFL, MLB etc uniforms are so much cleaner, as they're designed around one major theme and haven't got numerous company logos, with conflicting colors plastered all over them.

With the current financial climate as it is, it may eventually become an option for the NBA. I don't think anyone should worry about a loss of identity, because in my experience, sponsorship doesn't really affect that. If it means the survival of a league then it's obviously the way to go. I hope it doesn't come to that however, because as I mentioned before, there's a kind of purity in a uniform with no sponsorship.

With that said, the MLB has a strict rule against corporate logos and sponsorships on uniforms. The Mets put the Citi Field logo on their sleeves for the inaugural season, the MLB told them that it was forbidden and to remove it, so there is basically a blank logo on their uniforms.

BRushWithDeath
06-05-2009, 05:15 PM
Instead of putting sponsors on the WNBA jerseys they should just fold the league as a whole. The fact that David Stern has kept it going so long is flat out irresponsible. Especially in these economic times.

Trophy
06-05-2009, 05:18 PM
Now the Sparks are having their sponsor on their jerseys. The Fever are probably up soon.

Honestly who would wanna buy a jersey that says like "Life Lock" on it?

Pacers
06-05-2009, 05:19 PM
Although the Fly Emirates logo is pretty big, it's not garish nor ugly nor as prominent as you'd expect. And no-one would mistake it for a team called "The Fly Emirates Arsenal" or whatever.

Huh? How could it get any more prominent?

ABADays
06-05-2009, 05:19 PM
I really don't want to go off tangent, but I disagree. Hendrick Motorsports, the most successful team in NASCAR, has had to result in landing Jeff Gordon a new associate sponsor since NASCAR banned Nicorette from being on the car. The National Guard stepped into that role. With that said they were left scrambling because Jeff offered to reduce his salary (which did happen) so that the team could continue to function comfortably along with the Guard as a sponsor. NG and Dupont now share primary sponsorship.

Banning Nicorette - uh, nice thinking. They ban tobacco sponsors then ban a product that helps people quit smoking. Pretty soon McDonald's and the cola companies will be banned due to the health risks of obesity.

rexnom
06-05-2009, 09:58 PM
Banning Nicorette - uh, nice thinking. They ban tobacco sponsors then ban a product that helps people quit smoking. Pretty soon McDonald's and the cola companies will be banned due to the health risks of obesity.
Yeah, that's bizarre...

On the actual topic. Why not? If the choice is between something very real, like retaining Jarrett Jack or not having to sell a first round pick and having a Snickers patch or something, why not? It could actually really help small market teams out, especially now.

King Tuts Tomb
06-05-2009, 10:41 PM
No. Unequivocally, absolutely, definitely, no.

Owners have already squeezed every last dollar out of their teams and stadiums. Can't we have this one nice, traditional thing stay how it is? The game would look like a four-quarter commercial.

I love NBA basketball more than most things on earth, but jersey sponsorship could be the one event that makes me walk away from the sport for good.

Shade
06-06-2009, 12:50 AM
No. And the whole Lifelock thing is going too far.

duke dynamite
06-06-2009, 01:08 AM
Well, Sunday's game night special for the Fever is jerseys 30% off. It's going to happen. I know it.

Taterhead
06-06-2009, 03:14 AM
This would just be a constant reminder to me of how the essence of the game has been taken away from real fans and has become more of a corporate, made for TV event. I just couldn't get behind it. The answer to everything isn't always more money.

grace
06-07-2009, 12:56 PM
Now the Sparks are having their sponsor on their jerseys. The Fever are probably up soon.

Honestly who would wanna buy a jersey that says like "Life Lock" on it?

Well in the corner of the jersey there's a Mercury logo so I suppose if you like the Mercury and want to support them by buying a jersey you'd do it.

ABADays
06-07-2009, 02:06 PM
I wonder if the Tru Warior record label would be interested. Or maybe one of the strip clubs that got so much free exposure during the Tinsley era.

Pacers
06-07-2009, 02:07 PM
Seems like a dumb endorsement anyway. For six figures, the Lifelock CEO could walk door to door to all 100 WNBA fans' houses. :)

idioteque
06-07-2009, 02:51 PM
My first reaction to this is "what a terrible idea" but then it comes down to the idea of would you rather have the Indiana Pacers cease to exist, or would you rather have the Eli Lilly logo slapped prominently right where it used to say "Indiana" and "Pacers."

I'd rather still have the Pacers. Hell, I'd rather have athletic teams have a big corporate logo on their jersey than have to pay taxes to build stadiums for billionaire owners. Not that one would lead to the other but it is an interesting thought.

Advertising in sports has gotten so bad that whatever they decide to do next will not really phase me. Ever since they started making announcers "speak highly" of certain television shows or sponsors DURING THE GAME, that crossed the line for me, absolutely ridiculous. Especially after you are subjected to 5 or so minutes of commercials right before that.

Big logos on jerseys are much less offensive to me than tons of commercials or announcers plugging shows during the game. Plus it actually makes money primarily for the team rather than for David Stern or ABC and NBC. That in and of itself makes it more attractive to me. Just don't fill the jersey up with hideous patches with no real color scheme like they do in Europe.

Taterhead
06-07-2009, 04:42 PM
My first reaction to this is "what a terrible idea" but then it comes down to the idea of would you rather have the Indiana Pacers cease to exist, or would you rather have the Eli Lilly logo slapped prominently right where it used to say "Indiana" and "Pacers."

I'd rather still have the Pacers. Hell, I'd rather have athletic teams have a big corporate logo on their jersey than have to pay taxes to build stadiums for billionaire owners. Not that one would lead to the other but it is an interesting thought.

Advertising in sports has gotten so bad that whatever they decide to do next will not really phase me. Ever since they started making announcers "speak highly" of certain television shows or sponsors DURING THE GAME, that crossed the line for me, absolutely ridiculous. Especially after you are subjected to 5 or so minutes of commercials right before that.

Big logos on jerseys are much less offensive to me than tons of commercials or announcers plugging shows during the game. Plus it actually makes money primarily for the team rather than for David Stern or ABC and NBC. That in and of itself makes it more attractive to me. Just don't fill the jersey up with hideous patches with no real color scheme like they do in Europe.

Yeah, but eventually you'll have all of that. The hideous patches, the publicly funded stadiums, the constant commercial interruptions, the announcers pimping, every last drop of it. These uniform ads aren't going to end anything, it's an addition to what's already there.

Covering the floor with advertisements is not that far away.

owl
06-07-2009, 04:59 PM
I'm not opposed to small patches, but I don't like having a big ad in the center and I despise the idea of doing what the Mercury just did by replacing their own name (on the jersey) with the sponsor's name.



How about Pacers in the front and big logo for company in the back or in reverse order?

PacerDude
06-07-2009, 05:11 PM
Do people actually let sponsorship influence their purchases ??

I think the whole sponsorship thing is a waste of money. I don't but Kellogs Raisin Bran because I saw it on a race car or whatever. I buy it because I like it. And it keeps me regular. :D

idioteque
06-07-2009, 05:16 PM
Do people actually let sponsorship influence their purchases ??

I think the whole sponsorship thing is a waste of money. I don't but Kellogs Raisin Bran because I saw it on a race car or whatever. I buy it because I like it. And it keeps me regular. :D

I feel ya, but you would be surprised. I have relatives that are really, really into racing and sponsorship does affect their purchases. Crazy, I know.

grace
06-07-2009, 05:26 PM
As long as the companies think sponsorship is a good thing it's a good thing to the consumer. For all of you who are scared to death that the Pacers are going to Vancouver would you rather have the Indiana Pacers have a Kelloggs logo on the uniform or the Vancouver Pacers with "Vancouver" on the front?

Sponsorship isn't a complete waste of money. Someone might try Raisin Bran because they see it on a race car. Once they decide if they like it or not they'll buy it again.

Pacers
06-07-2009, 06:07 PM
Advertising like this isn't for your run of the mill "Let's convince this guy to buy our crap" advertising. It's for what they call "Top of the mind" advertising.

Advertisers pay big bucks so that whenever you think of motor oil, you think of Lucas Oil. Cereal, Raisin Bran, etc. It's so if you're at the store, you'll think of their products first.

Just think, when was the last time you thought of the soda Tab? They still sell it. Most wouldn't know because they never see it on TV. Now just think it we were the Tab Pacers. People would know the name much more.

PacerDude
06-07-2009, 06:14 PM
As long as the companies think sponsorship is a good thing it's a good thing to the consumer. How ?? Looking at it from a simple angle, if Company A pays 5 million a year to get their name on an arena, team, whatever, that money comes from ............... the consumer. IE: higher prices.

Peter_sixtyftsixin
06-07-2009, 06:24 PM
How come tennis players and golfers don't slap Tide and McDonald's logos on their chests?

You're kidding right? Do you watch golf tournaments? Sponsor logos on visors, bags, shirts. They're all over too.

SycamoreKen
06-07-2009, 06:43 PM
I really don't care one way or the other. Heck, I think colleges should do it more than the pros do.

grace
06-07-2009, 08:55 PM
How ?? Looking at it from a simple angle, if Company A pays 5 million a year to get their name on an arena, team, whatever, that money comes from ............... the consumer. IE: higher prices.

You're looking at it like a cereal consumer. I'm looking at it like a sports consumer. If the team got 5 million dollars from an advertiser I'm assuming it's 5 million dollars they aren't going to charge me for a ticket. You might say the team isn't going to pass the savings along. If so I'll just tell you Company A already has an advertising budget in place and has chosen to go in a different direction from television commercials.

YoSoyIndy
06-07-2009, 09:45 PM
Do people actually let sponsorship influence their purchases ??

I think the whole sponsorship thing is a waste of money. I don't but Kellogs Raisin Bran because I saw it on a race car or whatever. I buy it because I like it. And it keeps me regular. :D

I'd suggest you look at the free market from a macro-level. Though you may simply determine what you like by strict trial and error, the majority of consumers determine their brand preferences through marketing. Marketing is about sales and communication and you're going to have trouble selling your product if it isn't communicated properly.

The best and potentially least expense method is word of mouth. It is only inexpensive if your product is so great that it instantly motivates the first users to tell their entire network of frineds. You would still have to figure out a way to drive those initial consumers to test your product -- and if it is your only way of marketing your product, then you'd want to make sure those first consumers trying your brand know a lot of better because you'd be depending on them.

Outside of word of mouth, you have to find a way to build awareness to your core targets about your product. As mentioned before me, the strategy for every day brands like cereals and restaurants is to stay top-of-mind so (1) you add them to your consideration set for the product category and (2) you think of them when it is time to consume the product.

In terms of sports sponsorship, the fan in me doesn't like sponsorships on jerseys, though I don't have any particular reason. The business guy in me is fine w/ it assuming the sponsoring brand matches the sport -- meaning, I'd hate to have a brand I disliked on my teams' jerseys.

duke dynamite
06-08-2009, 12:58 AM
Like the NFL, NHL and the WNBA, I welcome the outfitters to place their logo on the uniforms. Adidas is more than welcome to place their name on them. But that is as far as I go. (On NBA Live, the cover athletes show the Adidas Brand logo on their jerseys.)