30 September 2015

This is not the Mayo Clinic's basketball team

Well, not exactly.  I mean, it is, but not technically.

The photo shows members of the Minnesota Lynx' WNBA professional basketball team.  The jersey logo in 128-point font is explained in the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal:
The Minnesota Lynx on Monday will announce a multiyear sponsorship deal that will put the Mayo Clinic's logo on the team's jerseys starting this summer.

Lynx officials say the deal is the "most extensive marquee jersey partnership in WNBA history," but they declined to disclose the terms of the deal. Only five other clubs currently have jersey sponsors.
The new jerseys prominently feature the Mayo Clinic logo across the chest, with the Lynx logo moving to the left shoulder. They also have a Boost Mobile logo beneath at the bottom of the jersey under a multiyear, leaguewide sponsorship deal...

That alliance includes plans for a new training facility at Block E, which will be renamed Mayo Clinic Square... In addition to placement on the team's jerseys, Mayo's logo also will appear prominently on the Target Center court and on other signage in and around the arena.
Reminds me of golf, where the players' headwear always has several logos (and the players are contracturally required to leave their caps on during some media interviews), and there are more corporate logos on the shirts.

The latest advertising innovation in the golf world is mind-boggling:
"They gave John Daly a golf bag that hardly anyone could imagine possible. It has a built in flat-screen television monitor which rotates ads across it while he plays. It works a lot like a much smaller and portable digital billboard..."
Joe Kirkpatrick, founder of Pro Bag Ads, went into specifics about the bags and had this to say about them: 
"Each ad is displayed on an HD Sun-Readable screen for 10 seconds, rotating through a catalog of 20 paid ad spots. For a 7-hour day, each ad will be shown no less than 130 times. During a tournament week, the player’s golf bag will be on display at the golf course for at least 4 days, including practice and tournament play, and an additional 2 days once the player makes the cut. That results in at least 520 impressions for a 4-day week, and up to 910 impressions for a 6-day week!"
But of course, no sport out-logos NASCAR...

Personally, I'm sick and tired of the whole process.  In all sports.  Which aren't really "sports" anymore - just another form of entertainment to deliver advertising.

Golf photo cropped for size from original here.  NASCAR photo credit.


  1. Politicians should wear their logos as well (as per Dan Carlin)

  2. Even ignoring the sponsorship side, in my mind professional sports has only ever existed purely for entertainment.

    1. I don't understand what professional sports would be other than entertainment. One might play a game for the pure joy of competition, comradely, and exercise. But for someone to *pay* you to play it professionally it pretty much has to be entertainment or gambling related.

      Then again, in the interest of declaring my biases, I was one of those nerds who had a rather poor experience interacting with sports people (both sports educators and student athletes) growing up. So I have always had a rather dim view of the whole undertaking. As I mature a bit I have realized that there are some good people with a genuine affection for sports, so I am trying to check my cynicism in this area.

    2. Of course I understand that the majority of professional sports exists as a form of entertainment. What I don't like is the co-opting of sports for the purposes of corporate advertising. I am old enough to have seen major changes in this regard within my lifetime. I won't try to modify the post with pix or insert them here, but I'll invite you to open a tab to Google Images and insert "Masters Tournament" and then various years starting in the 1960s. In that era when I first fell in love with the sport, Nicklaus and Palmer and others wore sweaters and golf shirts and caps without logos. It wasn't until perhaps with late 70s or early 80s that logos started to appear on caps - and then for golf-related products (clubs and balls). Now the players are walking billboards for insurance companies and automobile manufacturers.

      If you've seen Ken Burns' marvelous history of baseball, you will notice for most of the sports' history, there were no ads except perhaps on the outfield walls and scoreboards of the minor league teams. It was big business, but the product was the game itself. Now the camera can't show the batter without including a backstop with a rotating ad for a car or airline or bank.

      Now excuse me while I go chase those kids off my lawn...

    3. I think this is just poor advertisement management by the golfing world.

      The golfing world could've learned how to successfully balance heritage and advertising from Wimbledon tennis tournament. It has one of the best implementations of advertisement i've seen - they've managed to maintain the iconic clean, simple style of their event while merging modern sponsorship into the mix. Simple rules that help keep an iconic event iconic.

      That said some sports (motor-racing in particular) would look weird without the sponsors - it's almost part of the sport now and sponsor laden car liveries are as iconic as the cars themselves.

  3. I've seen a tap handle at a bar that had what looked like an iPod Touch embedded in it, advertising the brewery and the current beer on that tap handle.

  4. I can't agree less, and I wish our congressmen wouldn't be so shy about putting their top sponsors on their jackets too. I'm not a fan of video billboards but static logos are fine. I have to raise funds for kids teams and I want the world to know which business sponsored us. I wish I had more ways to thank them. So I don't mind the pro-athletes doing the same. They had to start somewhere and before they were well known some sponsor took a risk on them. So it's all very natural.


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