The Real Meaning of Football

Christopher Wehbey

As I am anxiously waiting the start of a much-anticipated second half
of the AFC Championship game last Sunday between the New York Jets and
the Pittsburg Steelers, I couldn’t help but notice how the entire
stadium of Heinz Field was covered. Covered in what you ask? In
advertisements, promotional campaigns and full of symbols connecting
to the “American Way”. I plan on majoring in sports management, and I
know the many hundreds of available possibilities of getting your
product out, especially through sporting events. However, it still
mind blowing how effective and sneaky companies get just to place
their name or logo on a few hundred cups, or 1 single poster in an
entire stadium. To pay nothing less than $300,000 USD to have your company poster placed in nearly every exit sections in a stadium year round sounds
ridiculous right? Not to companies like McDonalds and PNC bank who
each have marketing products in and involving Heinz field.

With over 68,000 fans watching at least 8 games a year in an enormous
stadium, how could you say no! The relationship between product
placement and American football has gotten blurry. Going from dozens
of company logos and product names all along Heinz fields wall (area
between the lower bowl and the private boxes) to reserving the right
of Coa-Cola to pay enough money to only serve Coke products in a
stadium of 68,000 fans is extreme. This has gone from America’s sport
to another of America’s mass media sources.

During the AFC Championship game, during halftime, popular hip-hop
artist Wiz Khalifa preformed his hit song “Black and Yellow”, which
was made about the Steelers. The stage appeared to be 20-25 ft long,
impossible for the entire stadium to see. However, the stadium
installed a 48 ft by 27 ft jumbo tron at the south end letting all the
fans to experience the moment. Along the screen are a total of 11 signs
with the company name and logo on it (As you can see in the video
below).

All of this is equaled up to the fact that NFL football has become
more of a mass media pool than one of the nations more popular sport.
Although I do agree with companies using ways to publicize their
products throughout general public, I believe only to a certain
extent. Keep sporting events strictly entertainment and advertise only
things to the plane eye. Stray away from audio promotions and hundreds
of commercials that go one during a game that creates only 26 minutes
of real action. Advertising is advertising, and in this economy, we
don’t need huge amounts of money wasted through promotions that hardly
affect our livelihood and that company’s economic state.

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