|Robert Silverman: Value Ads, or Rise Of The #Branded NBA Jersey
You’re probably like me. You put in a long day at your drudgerous, soul-sucking job,
trudge home, fumble with the keys, fend off a particularly eager, drooling dog and/or
child and make your way into your Sanctum Sanctorum. This is a home within your
home. Your safe place. You absolutely should not call it a "man cave," and don't need
to name it at all, really, but you need such a place.
So: settle into your Barca-lounger or its off-brand equivalent, crack open a malted-
wheat alcoholic beverage of your choosing, kick off the Florsheims and let out a deep,
soul-cleansing exhale as your whole self unclenches and unwinds. The workaday world
is not here. Breathe.
The only thing left to do is stick a hatpin through at least two of the four hemispheres
of your cerebellum, dig the remote out from the crevasses in the pleather and watch
your favorite professional basketball team tangle with someone else’s favorite
professional basketball team.
This should be fun! Why, Superstar X is a pending free agent, and you’ve gnawed your
fingernails to the cuticles fretting that he may no longer choose to toil for the team
you fancy, but would rather ply his trade in another town. Even, gulp, maybe hated
opposing team Y! And there’s Frustrating Player Z. If only he could get his **** together.
(I'm talking about J.R. Smith, now.)
But something’s missing. Not missing from the game, mind you. The televised clash of
civilizations/fob to petty clannishness is pure and good and working as it should. No,
there’s something else. An ineffable lack that is slowly sapping the pleasure from what
should be an experience of complete and total pleasure.
You prod and poke and search for this thing-without-name, like jabbing your tongue at
a wobbly tooth or pulling at a wayward string on a favorite cardigan, even though you
know that the OCD-ish fussing will only make it worse. Then it hits you, what's missing.
It is #brands.
Yes, more brands. You are of course already provided with messages during the
stoppages in play that inform you—even often dryly and impishly entertain you—about
what products you might want to purchase via 30-second short films. They tell you how
they will enrich your experience as a human being or right wrongs that vary in severity
from mundane to catastrophic. Some have side effects, some have spokespeople; all
are available for a price. This is a public service that our friendly neighborhood
corporations provide. We reward them with our undying #brand loyalty. This is not
even a joke; it somehow happens.
But in your heart, you know that a brighter, better, more intimate bond with commerce
is possible. Something more, even, than what we have now. What a glorious, wondrous
world it would be if somehow your love of #sporps and the profound emotional
connection that can only be had through interacting with #brands could somehow,
someway, become one?
Just recently—like Archimedes bursting out of the tub, having discovered the secret to
determine the purity of gold—new NBA commissioner Adam Silver has The Answer.
Ads on NBA uniforms.
"It just creates that much more of an opportunity for our marketing partners to get that
much closer to our fans and to our players. It gives us an opportunity just to have
deeper integration when it comes to those forms of sponsorship.”
You, the lonely consumer, have this heart filled with love; full to burst, ready to literally
rip it from your own chest, Mola Ram-style, and give that warm love to the brands you
care about most. This is now an experience you can have while watching basketball. It’s
almost like Russell Westbrook, your adoration of Russell Westbrook and #brands have
become one at the molecular...CONTINUE READING AT THE CLASSICAL