Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Is There Anything That Isn't Sponsored These Days?

Now that I'm working in the advertising/marketing industry, I understand more than ever how important it is for companies to get their name out there as much as possible. In fact, a big part of my job is to use Web 2.0 sites to promote my company (CPX Interactive!) and make connections. But, that said, I think sponsorships have gotten a little crazy.

I started thinking about this yesterday as I was stuck in traffic on the Northern State Parkway, one of Long Island's finest roadways. As the traffic report came on, it was introduced as "Insert Company Name Here Traffic," but when the traffic person started the report, they said that today's traffic was sponsored by "Insert Other Company Name." Then, as I flipped between stations throughout my ride, I found that this was the case on several of the stations I listen to, AND the overall traffic sponsor (the first Insert Name Here) is the same on all of these stations. Isn't that like some sort of weird monopoly?

So, this led me to think about other strange sponsorships I've seen in recent years. Sporting events are the source of pretty much all of these occurrences. For example, the nets on the goalposts at college football games, and a different sponsor for pre-game, halftime, post-game, random stats report mid-game, timeouts, replays, and players of the game. And we can't forget that pretty much every sporting arena in the country has a corporate sponsor and name, and some companies sponsor teams, or the CEO of the company is also the owner of a team. A little ridiculous, no?

Yes, I understand that companies need to advertise, and they try to think of innovative ways to do so. But, every time I see something like this, it makes me think about just how far it could go. Will companies one day compete to put their logo on sweat towels, yard lines, and basketball nets? Will they want to sponsor Wednesday's weather report or every rap song that a radio station plays? I know, some of these are a bit of a stretch, but you really never know.

I'm curious, what's the weirdest thing you've seen sponsored? Any creative ideas for how far it could go in the future? Feel free to leave comments!

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