Advertising, sponsorships and drawing the line

· society, Uncategorized

I am currently watching the French Open and so I started to get curious about the world-class but slightly lesser-known tennis players such as Tomáš Berdych. One thing I noticed was the various sponsors attached to his rackets, his footwear, etc. Now this is nothing new, but I always get the feeling that the corporate world by design wants their hands/claws in everything that might make them more money or fame. Not to mention the bizarre and often counterproductive methods they sometimes employ to protect their interests (example).

I do realize that to survive in this world, you have to market yourself as aggressively as possible. And good business is good economy, and without a good economy times are hard. But surely there are lines to be drawn. For example, naming stadiums after cellphone company sponsors surely leaves a bad taste in the mouth for many, especially if those stadiums are very old and revered. YouTube’s forcing people to watch ads of 20 seconds before they can watch what they actually clicked for feels like a slap in the face. I’d rather have some ads on the side, thank you very much.

I think the challenge for the corporate world is to market themselves aggressively and simultaneously non-offensively, so as to draw the most numbers of prospective customers. Sadly, it would seem that most people don’t mind the overflow of unrelated information on their TVs, their computers, their newspapers, their sports stadiums, and so on. The cliché seems to be true in many cases: People are sheep. I would not mind to filter out some information in my daily life but again, there is a line to be drawn, and I think that in many cases, that line is crossed.

I wonder what would happen if a famous sports star would refuse to accept any sponsors and only live on prize money alone. This would surely make some people think. I am not proposing that this is any kind of solution, but anything that makes people think where they have not thought before is a good thing.

Is this a case of where we must resign our fate to the cons of capitalism and just get used to it? Or do you feel like me, like we need to push back just a little bit?



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