The Scam of Marketing Sports Stadiums as Corporate Billboards

Jim Hightower's Radio Lowdown
Jim Hightower's Radio Lowdown
The Scam of Marketing Sports Stadiums as Corporate Billboards
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Advertising has been characterized as rattling a stick in a bucket – a noisy cry for public attention.

One example of this crass hucksterism is the rush by top executives of multibillion-dollar corporations to splatter their corporate names on sports venues. Responding to a blatant scam by team owners, executives are spending absurd sums of their shareholders’ money to “win” temporary naming rights to local stadiums, arenas, etc. The come-on is that this billboarding will buy brand recognition, customer loyalty, and even public gratitude for the purchaser.

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Seriously? Do you fly Delta, bank at Wachovia, or drive a Toyota because their names are on a big sports structure somewhere? And what do outfits like Ameriquest, Qualcomm, and FTX even sell – and where are they located? As for public gratitude, ask Houstonians how thankful they are that global energy giant Enron slapped its name on the Astro’s baseball park in 1999, just three years before the corporation was forced into bankruptcy for being guilty of massive fraud and squalid executive greed.

But the bucket-rattling name game keeps drawing new players. The latest entrants are purveyors of cryptocurrencies, the phantasmagoric, here-today-gone-tomorrow form of digital money. One of these, Crypto.com, has just laid out a ridiculous $700 million (presumably in real money, not “cryptos”) to put its occult brand name on the home arena of the Los Angeles Lakers. Why? The parties to the deal put it in grandiose terms – “a match made in heaven” exulted the arena’s giddy owner, even proclaiming that Crypto.com will “help us chart a course for the future of sports.”

Huh? I doubt that this cryptic, Singapore-based money dealer can even dribble a basketball, much less direct the sport’s future! Like Enron and the rest, all it’s doing is rattling the money bucket, turning sports into just another corporate money hustle.

“Battling the bastards is about as much fun as you can have with your clothes on.”

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