Sports marketing is firmly ensconced in the fabric of sports spectatorship all across the world. The marketing of recreation activities has also gained increasing importance. Clearly this is a trend that will continue to impact sports and recreation management in the years to come (Blackman and Green, 2016). But – how far will this go?
Common understanding of how marketing works has penetrated into the depths of even the average sports mind – to the point where sports spectators accept the bombardment of media messages as jut part of witnessing a game. Accordingly, sports marketing is a trend that is now fully integrated into our social consciousness. New research suggests this will continue over, at least, the next 5 – 10 years (Blackman and Green, 2016).
Back to how far will we go – the WNBA recently adopted part of the European sports marketing model, following suit after one other US professional sports league – the MLS – to predominately display corporate sponsors on player uniforms.
And Adam Silver, the current NBA commissioner, has predicted the NBA will follow suit before 2020. Yet corporate logos on jerseys is a widely recognized practice throughout the world. Futbol (soccer) teams have been doing it for quite some time – as standard practice.
But where will it end? At what point will corporate image actually reach into the recreation experience? I mean, picture it – you and your family, or you and your friends, or both/all – you pile in your ride and you cruise out to the Grand Canyon. We’ll step alongside other visitors at the Grand Canyon, and spend a few moments to view the awe-inspiring and breath-taking beauty of the Grand Canyon. But this is not just any Grand Canyon. This is the GoDaddy Grand Canyon. Perhaps as we travel about we’ll encounter other popular recreation places – such as the Lockheed Martin Niagara Falls, the Met Life Everglades, the Toshiba Jackson Hole, the Home Depot Mojave Desert, the Citigroup Hubbard Glacier, or the Walmart Black Hills?
Bell, D. (2014). “Ads will be on NBA Jerseys.” Sportslogos.net: March 20, 2014.
Available: http://news.sportslogos.net/2014/03/20/silver-ads-will-be-on-nba-jerseys-within-next-5-years/. Retrieved: November 10, 2016.
Blackman, R. J., and Green, M. (2016). Sports and Recreation Management Trends in New England. International Journal of Education and Social Science Vol. 3., No. 2, February 2016. Available: http://www.ijessnet.com/vol-3-no-2-february-2016/
By Dr. Rodney J. Blackman
Dr. Blackman is the Chair of Recreation Management at the United States Sports Academy, and can be reached at email@example.com.