Just when you thought that the world of sports was already supersaturated with advertisements, they come out with something that would increase still the amount of advertisements visible to fans. The possibility of Major League Baseball players sporting advertisements on their uniforms looks to be in the near future, according to San Francisco Giants CEO Larry Baer.
When I think back to the last sporting event I attended (The Fort Wayne Tin Caps, a minor league baseball team in my hometown) I can easily recall the very generous amount of ads that were splattered not only on the walls of field, but on the cups from vending, the giant screen, and even on the uniforms of the employees. So it is strange to me that the idea of players’ uniforms now being plastered with ads is a foreign concept. Is it really so different than NASCAR drivers having their sponsors on their racecars?
Twenty English Premier League teams have been doing this for quite some time and earned $155 million for one season. If the NBA, NFL, NHL, and MLB did this they could earn an estimated $370 million. Brands such as Samsung, Doritos, and Allstate have already offered to buy space on these uniforms. This great influx of advertising revenue could prevent the increase of ticket prices and possibly even aid in a ticket price decrease. So why isn’t this already happening?
Some fans are concerned that with the implementation of logos on players’ uniforms it would jeopardize the integrity of the sport. But this is almost comical to me, especially in the world that we live in today, a world so very commercial. Even the venue that the sport is played in tends to be named after a brand or a person. Do the names Lucas Oil, Wrigley, or Staples ring a bell?
Another issue that arises is conflict of interest between what the players are personally endorsing and what the team decides to let advertised. But simple contracts could very easily be drawn up.
Essentially we put advertisements anywhere that we possibly can. Parents even dress their children with the logos of brands that they like, such as Gap, Guess, and Ralph Lauren. If this isn’t considered weird or unethical, then I see no problem with major league athletes sporting a logo or two. Especially if it would in the end save the consumer some cash.
Everything else involved with the events are advertised to the extreme, except the players. So why not? It seems to work for the rest of the world. What do you think? Are logos a welcomed addition to major league uniforms?
Gaines, C. (2014, September 23). San Francisco Giants CEO On Uniform Ads In MLB: ‘I Think It Is Coming’ Retrieved September 23, 2014.
Hiebert, P. (n.d.). Why Don’t We Have Ads on Sports Uniforms Yet? Retrieved September 23, 2014.