Thursday, June 18, 2009

Ads on the jerseys

American sports teams are testing the water, to see how people respond to ads on the uniforms.It goes without saying that I'm 100% opposed to this development. The jerseys don't need ads. Ads on the outfield walls is bad enough.

Starting this summer the NFL is going to try out small ads on the sleeves. On their practice jerseys only. {For now.}

Okay, so I hate that idea, but sports continually adopt ideas I hate. (And, once, dropped a bad idea -- artificial turf is nearly completely gone from baseball. Yahoo!)

I know the ads on the NFL jerseys will be small, but I doubt they'll remain small. What use would that be? I expect they'll gradually grow to European soccer proportions, which I think would be a mistake.

European soccer clubs have sacrificed their own brand development potential with the ads on the jerseys. I gotta figure that's why you don't see Manchester United tee shirts, etc Unless it's an official team shirt or shorts or socks - whatever - you don't see it. The sponsor's logo is the real visible trademark. For example, the Manchester United crest is so dwarfed by the advertiser's logo that it's insignificant. AIG could probably sell red tee shirts that would satisfy Manchester United fans.

I know that there is an awful lot of Manchester United merchandise available, but I still think their branding takes a hit with that big AIG in the middle of their jersey. I mean, who wants to be associated with AIG these days? (Or Citibank - don't talk to me about the Mets' new home!)