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Just fake it

Cowboy hat By Jim Hightower and Phillip Frazer - Wed., 3/3/99
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The corporatizaton of sports marches on. Corporations have long sponsored competitions- from the "Anderson Consulting World Championship of Golf" to football's venerable "Weed Whacker Bowl." They also sponsor both college and pro teams, plaster their logos on stadiums and players alike, and they even own the teams outright—like Disney's Anaheim Mighty Ducks of the NHL, and its Aneheim Angels baseball team.

Now, it seems they've reached the last frontier: buying the fans.
At the Australian Open in January, there was a lot of talk about a few unusually enthusiastic tennis fans in the stands. Whenever Andre Agassi took the court these young men would put on Nike shirts and yell their lungs out When Mary Pierce played, they changed into blonde wigs and little yellow dresses.The other spectators and the cameras kept turning to these colorful fans... fun for all! But the real winner was the Nike Corporation: game, set and match.

The stunt was Nike's latest innovation in marketing: hiring fake fans.



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Filed Under: Corporate greed