Commercial In Confidence

13 March 2010 01:35
Adverts are all over the place and football has embraced the money they provide. Even the richest clubs need the revenue a well placed ad will bring in. I have written before about how Spanish football embraces commercialism, a route properly considered and taken that can read to riches for the Clubs and players alike.Spain no doubt has made mistakes on the road to the fine art in commercialism now established in the game but viewed from today and in comparison with what we do or is allowed in Scotland they seem to have got it about right. During live games the bottom of the screen has a pop up menu every 10 minutes or so for a ten second message from the sponsors- a clear bold statement like “This match sponsored by MAHON beer”. It does not stop the play, interrupt the viewing, spoil the picture and most important it does bring in money. The latest innovation is adverts across the seat of the player’s shorts. Sevilla for example have in 4 inch lettering the same colour as their strip a bold advert which is something akin to WWW.BET.COM across their butt cheeks. Actually it looks not too bad. It made me recall the first advert on players shirts in Scotland, which was secured by Hibs from BUKTA. The letters then were only 2” tall and hardly dominating, but as usual the SFA and TV were not happy, trying for their own interests to ban it? Why, well no money was going to the SFA/SFL or the TV companies of course.  There was a face off with Hibs refusing to budge and their Millionaire Chairman saying to the TV that if they did not want to cover Hibs games they would be in breach of contract and the TV companies saying the same to Hibs.Until a compromise was reached Hibs were forced to play with black sticky tape across the advert on the players’ shirts, not because they did not have alternative strips but because by having the tape over the word everyone knew what was being hidden so the advert worked in any case.If you think this is silly just watch today how many times the physio comes on to attend an injured player but his first concern is to get the bag and its sponsors name in full view of the cameras. Watching Sevilla’s game with Real Madrid (at Madrid) in Pepe’s last week it occurred to me that had I been the BET.COM sponsor watching the game I I would have been furious! Most of the players were playing with their shirts outside their shorts, all but covering the advert on their shorts. There was however some understanding of the attraction of short sponsorship when Sevilla romped to a 0-2 lead and after each goal all the players jumped on top of each other and there you had it a mountain of bottoms but more important a mountain of WWW.BET.COMs. Seville romped the whole of the first half and the tired looking Madrid players had plenty time to read the adverts on their oppositions shorts given that they were chasing the game for almost 50 minutes. But Real Madrid being Real Madrid the onslaught came with a thrilling second half performance which brought a dazzling array of shots and two goals in reasonable succession, then in the 93 minute Real scored the winner and a huge celebration started leaving the Sevilla players all around the pitch sitting on their adverts!The huge celebrations were reflected in Pepe’s where the locals expressed their relief not in drink but in songs and hugs. These same fans honestly state that for Madrid games they are Madrid fans but next day they are Malaga fans. No one accuses them of being part time supporters, it is just what they all do. Editor Ger Harley (ger@scottishfitba net)Admin Team (admin@scottishfitba net)This is Scottish-Fitba Net