As followers of Trendspottings are aware, we like to preface the subject of our discourse to you in a one-word summary that leads our headline. But in contemplating today’s topic, words like "advertising" or "branding" or "media" just didn’t seem the right fit. They all sound too good for the NBA’s decision to start selling off square inches of jersey to the highest bidder.
So we settled on "hocking." Though we were mighty tempted by "pimping."
Call me a purist, and yes I know it’s common in many European sports and Ricky Bobby’s NASCAR, and yes I know traveling isn’t called in the NBA, but plastering uniforms with what amounts to bumper stickers just smacks — to me — of avarice crossing the line, an over and back violation in pursuit of one more pile of almighty dollars.
Is it wrong? No. Does it feel wrong? Yes.
All of us already are the recipients of far too many advertising impressions each day. How many of those actually cut through your clutter and reach you? How many of those actually break through, and impact you enough to cause you to click, or call, or buy? My guess is that a 2.5 inch square logo on LBJ’s jersey ain’t gonna move you, though I’d love for some ingenious brand — like Budweiser — to make it a redeem-now coupon that you simply rip off and hand to the beer attendant. Now that would be cool.
Fortunately, I’m not a fan of the NBA, so I really couldn’t care less what it means for the National Basketball Adsociation. At the same time, you try stitching a Chicago Pizza Company logo onto my Green Bay Packers uniforms, we’ll meet at the principal’s office.