Sports marketing is very much a numbers game. The more numbers a potential sponsor offers to affiliate their product or service to a sport entity, the more likely they are to “win” the sponsorship bid. When considering the sheer quantity of sport sponsorships in the US alone, contradictions abound. Professional athletes are often times in peak physical fitness with body fat percentages that mirror the average female shoe size. Even though these superman and women-like athletes have bodies of steal, they’re sponsored by companies, that anyone with common sense would conclude are the antithesis of physical fitness. For example, any sport sponsorship with McDonalds, specifically Michael Jordan’s deal in 1987.
One can only assume that after a hard workout or challenging game, Michael Jordan didn’t pull up to a McDonald’s drive through because he was craving a Big Mac. Especially now, with heavy emphases on maintaining a healthy playing weight, eating organic foods and taking care of one’s body, its hard to believe LeBron consumes the Dunkin’ Donuts shredded pork donuts he pedals as the company’s Asian brand ambassador. Additionally, I’m not sure consumers are to truly believe Russell Westbrook drinks Mountain Dew’s Kickstart for breakfast in the morning as the Dew’s player endorser.
As we’ve learned in class, good sport sponsorships connect the sponsor to the product, therefore engaging the consumer with an organic partnership. Basketball fans don’t watch NBA basketball for health benefits, they watch for love of sport, to support their favorite player or to engage in social interaction. The products associated with the action of watching a sport are a secondary involvement and relative means to an end. The money involved with the sponsorship of a sport allows for that sport to be televised, thus allowing a sports fan to enjoy his/her favorite sport on television. Although, the overconsumption of soda can lead to myriad health problems including obesity, Type 2 diabetes and heart disease, the over consumption of sports can just leave one without loved ones but at least you’re healthy!