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What a Tangled Web (of Advertising) We Weave

Bases are for stealing.

by Richard 'Mr. Moo' Moore
May 16, 2004

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I don’t want to be one who tells people what to do.  I am one who likes to monitor myself (full time job), explain my position when necessary and let others make up their own mind.  But I must say that something has come to my attention over the last few weeks that really bothers me. 
You see, I am a sports fan.  Actually, I am a sports fanatic.  I used to play any sport but now I love to watch almost any sport.  Near the top of the list is baseball.  And I must say that I love the old ball parks.  The first two stadiums in which I ever saw a game at were Connie Mack Stadium in Philadelphia and the original Camden Yards in Baltimore.  I love the tradition.  Yes, I love grass on the field and wish artificial turf was not invented. Who wants a predictable bounce of a ball anyway?   I don’t like the designated hitter rule, as it takes away the strategy of pulling a pitcher for a pinch hitter in the crucial part of the game.  And I love day games, when the only reason to turn on the lights is darkened skies under threat of rain.  Saying all that, let’s talk baseball for a minute. 
You can’t watch a game on TV or in person without being bombarded with ads for beer, pop, snack food, male enhancement drugs, auto makers, etc.  Almost all of the major league parks have their sponsors name in the name.  Petco Park for the Padres in San Diego. Minute Maid Park in Houston. U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago, you know the other Chicago team.  Bank One Ballpark for the Diamondbacks. Coors Field for the Rockies.  And, of course, we get a bird’s eye view from the __________ (fill in your own company) blimp. OK, I am on advertising overload.  Thank goodness they can’t advertise on the field of play.  I was wrong, thanks to the makers of the film Spiderman 2 and their attempt to purchase ads on the bases.  The bases, for heaven’s sake! 
I know the jockeys sued to sell and wear advertising on their uniforms.  We can’t see the color of NASCAR vehicles or drivers anymore because of the sponsorship emblems.  But not the bases, please.  Buy the sign behind home plate so the fans watching on TV see the ad for “our friendly neighborhood Spiderman”.  Tell the movie production company to buy their own stadium.  But not the bases.  What would be next?  A sponsor for the bats?  A corporate logo on the balls?  Each finger on the backside of a glove for a different advertiser?  Please stop. 
Baseball is not the same as it was years ago and I know why and who’s to blame.  If the Cubs hadn’t added lights at Wrigley Field none of this would have ever happened. 

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Tim McGinnis from Chicago, IL writes:
May 16, 2004
OK, advertisements are everywhere. So?

How much time does anyone really spend looking at the bases at a baseball game? If there is something on the bases, can anyone really see what it says?

If some morons at a movie studio want to shell out good money to have the name of a movie on a base where hardly anybody but the players themselves will see it, then that is fine by me. All of the uproar and attention everybody paid to the IDEA of putting the ads on the bases put the Spiderman movie at the top of news and sports highlight shows for about a week. The victory of preventing the ad from appearing on the bases ended up being the best advertising those movie execs could have possibly purchased.

Remember the Simpsons Halloween special where commercial characters came to life and attacked Springfield? Remember the way they were defeated? IGNORE THEM!!!

By the way, the most old-school ballpark in the majors is named for the team's former corporate owner.... Wrigley Chewing Gum. Its never had a single effect on my purchasing habits, so what is the harm? Now where is my Juicy-fruit?

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