Everyone who has been a fan of the great game of baseball throughout their lifetime knows that the originality and simplicity of the sport enhances it's class and excitement. In other words, in baseball, a little means a lot. The question I've been pondering for quite some time is whether or not players and teams should become human sales pitches (pardon the pun) -- MLB frowns upon uniform sponsors -- Is that a good idea or should something be altered?
The answer is NO, nothing should be altered. But let's discuss...
As the years have gone by, more and more fans have been disgruntled by the massive additions of corporate sponsors which have been installed in just about every area of their favorite teams ballpark. Not only are ads and billboards displayed but in between innings and during in-game action (unfortunately) there's audio sponsors and extremely loud and annoying music. Either that or just the Joe Schmo PA Announcer annoying the hec out of you.
However, the inspiration of this post comes from something that I not only grew up watching but grew up loving in my early years: English Football. In the Premier League (although the disambiguation has since changed and will probably continue to do so due to...wait for it...corporate sponsoring), there are ten times the amount of corporate sponsors centered around every fasit of the sport. However, the most noticeable feature stamped on a team by a company paying millions are in the center (or centre) of the uniform.
First and foremost, most of those sponsors look fantastic. But again, it's one giant company sales pitch. For those wondering, companies bid millions and I mean millions of pounds (the English pound is now worth $1.64. In other words, the pound is darn expensive). That one company is usually one of several companies to have a team sport their services but usually the only non-clothing or non-athletic company -- Thomson, a publishing company sponsored Tottenham Hotspur for quite some time while Kappa was their athletic and clothing brand sponsor. With all of that said, it's really quite "loud" and takes away from a sport that like baseball, is known for it's beauty and choreography. The only benefits about those uniform sponsors are the amount of money the teams receive (and man do they get lots of it) and the fanciness.
By and by, it doesn't make the uniform's any more expensive than MLB uni's. In fact, they are much cheaper. Most authentic MLB uni's go for $299.99 while English Premier League uni's sell at 25-40 pounds (keep in mind my computer lacks a "pound" symbol) which translates to somewhere around $43-70 respectively.
Alas, even if say, the Rays, featured a giant "IBM" logo on their chest it might collect the Rays millions and millions of additional dollars per year but as many have pointed out enough is enough when it comes to corporate sponsoring. Now, if companies agreed to possibly trim down the many ads they have featured around the ballpark and scoreboard only to stick them on the sleeve of a Red Sox uni such as the time the Sox did that in 2008, it might be less overwhelming. For now, keeping the game as simply and lovable as can be is a priority and a necessity.
"going to ballgames simply isn't as much fun as it was 10 or 15 years ago. LED video displays, never-ending sound effects, constantly-changing corporate stadium names, blaring music, commercials between innings, and spiraling prices have all conspired to send me running for the exits (and even the exits probably have corporate sponsors now)."