Home > General Soccer > Kit Sponsorships – The American Debate

Kit Sponsorships – The American Debate

– Dan K. – slacking 1/2 of unholy union

As I flaunted around pictures of the practice kit (i have never seen) for the Philadelphia Union from the pre-season game yesterday I ran into a debate with a coworker of mine, let’s call him Dave. Dave, as I am calling him for his anonymity, did a slow face palm, mouth agape, and shook his head in slight disgust. Why with the new solid white color jerseys and gold and blue shoulder design would he have disgust with the new cool looking jersey?

Well it was spelled out in red, white, and blue. BIMBO.

The conversation (better known as an argument) started with the phrase “People run around looking like human nascars”. He understands that it’s something associated with soccer, the Kit advertisements, but he has never liked it ever since he watched AC Milan when he was 8. And this is my debate, of most debates against why it’s not necessarily stupid in the least…

To refer to his NASCAR comment, yes, nascar is over-advertised – each car containing one HUGE sponsor, with various other sponsors taking part in the designing a section of a car with writing or logos. Not to mention the driver himself, decked out in sponsor patches all across his fire tardent suit, and if he wins, the ever changing of the hat he is wearing so that each sponsorship deal is completed (since most sponsors can’t be contained on one hat alone). It’s understood why this is done, to own a car of that force, need for maintenance, repairs, a salary for the driver, and keeping his pit crew employed to himself yet alone happy, you need a titanic-load of money… but hopefully it doesn’t sink you…

From one sport of advertising, to another on the opposite of the advertising spectrum – baseball. How is there advertising in baseball (aside from the various banners of course..yes..)? Well… ok this one has me falling flat on my face for the sport itself – aside from the pompous Yankees with “We don’t have names on our jerseys because we are so good you know who we are”.  Actually, that’s a good example.

Sponsorships go beyond the field of play a player is in. Anyone with a sponsorship deal, as you are a face (or THE face in some cases) of the or pose for billboards product company that is buying your marketable appeal, has to go to functions or perform in commercials and magazine ads to fulfill the necessary requirements in their contract. This includes how people will recognize someone. Note on I-76 the billboard (at least it was there before) of Chase Utley batting next to “TASTYKAKE” in big letters. He’s not in his regular clothes right? He’s in his uniform. He’s not only promoting Tastykake, but the Phillies. It’s a cross promotion reminding you of the team you love, and the brand of pastries that you so evidently enjoy that they have gone bankrupt…

Aside from marketing in which American based sports athletes generally stay in their respective uniforms for advertising, there’s also the point of the uniform itself. If a star is marketable and has sponsorship deals, you’ll see a certain superstar more often than not. This will possibly increase the likeability of that star, and there will in essence be an increase in jersey merchandise sales, that would go towards the team. So by all rights, every player is advertising – by generally being an athlete on the main stage, and the subtle cross promotions with their sponsorships – the franchise that owns their contract. This would sometimes go into the lines of actually going to see a game because of said player, but that’s too few and far between in actual sports aside from an overwhelming star in baseball, baseketball as a whole (Kobe, the three headed dog in Miami, … Kobe, Iverson when he used to be good… Kobe… etc) and on occasion soccer (Beckham anyone?). The LA Kings back in the day to advertise their own team stole Wayne Gretzky just so people would go to their games. By having a marketable player that was world renowned, it sold tickets and merchandise for the franchise.

What difference if ANY with all that I said relates to wearing a sponsor on one’s jersey? Well, some could say that all of these are unrelated, but others could say that there is an overwhelming similarity. I’m obviously for the latter. There’s an advertisement to begin with on soccer kits of “ADIDAS” since they supply the apparel for the MLS, what difference does it then make to have a sponsor that is plastered on the center of ones jersey? Almost nothing, since there’s a fine line where the players and the team itself are advertising their own team by wearing them (which will be the case later on once BIMBO promotions commence this year with a Union player as the face of BIMBO…aside from that scary Korean bear.). Aesthetics of how the uniform looks aside, there is no difference from any sport to soccer with advertisements on / with the jersey, since everything else is subtle. At least soccer is shoving it in your face as it should.

  1. Not Dave
    February 7, 2011 at 5:18 PM

    Right, but there’s a huge difference between a baseball jersey and a soccer kit. Baseball jerseys (at least for the time being) have no sponsor on them. None. The soccer kit in question, however, sports a very large advertising logo. What’s worse, the chosen sponsor is BIMBO. I know, it’s supposed to be pronounced “beembo”, tell that to the fans of other MLS teams who will no doubt constantly harass the Union and their followers with this name. Also, consider the colors of the advertisement. Having Blue, Red and White for the sponsor on top of a navy blue and gold jersey looks goofy as all hell. You have to ask yourself, where does this advertising stop? Will another sponsor be added in the future when costs undoubtedly rise? How about two more sponsors? Or five? Or ten? Or hey, let’s just paint advertisements on the forearms and faces of the players. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a Union fan (albeit a new one), and I support the men on the field. As far as the ownership goes, that’s a different story.

  2. djkw418
    February 7, 2011 at 5:24 PM

    I think practice generally is 1 sponsor at a time… aside from the sponsors in the stadium, and the sponsors with food vendors, and billboards inside, and so forth. Oh, and the sponsor of the stadium itself. It doesn’t mean that the sponsor will forever be BIMBO, it’s just that for the time being, they own the rights to the front of the jersey. Much like Seattle 360’s… i mean Sounders. Not to mention that the sponsorship deal goes farther than just naming rights on the jersey, they’re actually working with the team and the stadium and it’s a full co-sponsorship in advertising agreement.

    The only team that this has no bearing on is New Jersey Energy Drinks, which they were dumb enough for the company itself to buy their team… correction, foolish enough for an agreement with a terrible tasting sugar rush that when combined with vodka is heartattack in a shot. Not to mention the Pink Hand of Gaul…

  3. about us
    March 16, 2011 at 8:06 PM

    japan is in a crisis right now

    • djkw418
      March 16, 2011 at 10:14 PM

      no shit, thank you for posting on a month old post… god damn spammers…

      i had to approve this spam for the sake of how assinine spammers are in taking the most recent events and ruining any semblance, meaning, or humanity to them…

      but they do state the obvious. if only it was a “viagra will get your dick hard” comment.

      … i are smart too… took out the URL in the comment. no clicks for you

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