Inappropriate Sponsorship

 

An article placed on East Coast Radio’s ‘Your 2 Cents’ Blog

Sports sponsorship = Sand in a Ferrari engine!

10 August 2010 – 14:00
By Chatterbox

ECR listener Hayley Freakes questions the sponsors of sporting event.

When it comes to sponsoring major international sporting events, unhealthy fast food, tobacco or alcohol brands, , says they are in fact encouraging the sporting and general public to ‘pour sand into their very own Ferrari engine’ (their bodies) by associating their unhealthy values, with the healthy values of sport.

One would think that the promotion of these sporting events should portray the image of a healthy and active lifestyle. Instead, the major international sporting events that we as a world are currently exposed to are in many instances sponsored by unhealthy brands!

– McDonalds, Coca-Cola and Budweiser as major sponsors of The 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup recently held in South Africa
– Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) as the official sponsor of The Indian Premier League (IPL) Cricket Series
– McDonalds and Cadbury’s as major sponsors of The London 2012 Olympic Games
– Castle Lager as the official sponsor of the South African Cricket Team

Were you aware of these sponsorship relationships?

As a species, we have become passive and often accept just about everything brands say to us. This is wrong! Unfortunately this is due to the fact that ‘consumption’ is now a world wide phenomenon, which has changed our lives forever. Everyday corporate brands are literally being ‘thrown in our faces’ as we passively accept their messages/actions without questioning and gaining a deeper insight into what their true underlying intentions are for us as consumers. This has a negative impact on our health as it is through the unhealthy sport sponsorship where the problems of consuming unhealthy food/drink products arise.

For example: We incorrectly believe that where McDonalds is an official sponsor of The FIFA Soccer World Cup and also the forthcoming 2012  Olympic Games, then all their food and drink offerings are health promoting and credible. In addition, how many of you thought how ‘good’ McDonald’s was in including the children into the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup and allowing them to meet their soccer heroes for the very 1st time? This is factually not true!

It is these disguised and manipulative messages which are having an impact on the overall health of the general sporting public.

The question that is being posed of you today, is this :  Are you in fact aware of the living contradiction and the negative impact that is being created when the likes of McDonalds and KFC sponsor major international sporting events?

Where do you think the problem of obesity and the manifestation of the various forms of cancer come from?

What effect does this have on your children’s views and ideas of sport?
I encourage you to comment or email me on how you feel about this living contradiction.

Together, we can take a firm, conscious stand and encourage those around us to think more deeply about the above important issues.

Once again I say… Sport Sponsorship = Sand in a Ferrari Engine!

Would you dare to pour sand into your Ferrari Engine?

When reading the above question, the majority of peoples’ spontaneous responses would inevitably be NO, given that where you elect to pour sand into your Ferrari’s engine, it would destroy the working mechanisms of the car and in turn the car would stop functioning. But interestingly enough it is this precise action that large business organizations are encouraging the sporting world to adopt, by sponsoring major international sporting events.

One would think that the promotion of these sporting events should portray the image of a healthy and active lifestyle. Instead, the major international sporting events that we as a world are currently exposed to, are in many instances sponsored by ‘unhealthy fast food, tobacco or alcohol brands’. Examples of these typically unhealthy brands are:

– McDonalds, Coca-Cola and Budweiser as major sponsors of The 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup recently held in South Africa
– Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) as the official sponsor of The Indian Premier League (IPL) Cricket Series
– McDonalds and Cadbury’s as major sponsors of The London 2012 Olympic Games
– Castle Lager as the official sponsor of the South African Cricket Team

However, one must ask the serious question : what association and commonality do these particular brands have with sport and how do these corporate sponsors believe their business values are aligned to those of the various sporting codes.

‘Consumption’ is now a world wide phenomenon, which has changed our lives forever. Everyday corporate brands are literally being ‘thrown in our faces’ as we passively accept their messages/actions without questioning and gaining a deeper insight into what their true underlying intentions are for consumers. This is where the problems of consuming unhealthy food/drink products arise. For example : We incorrectly believe that where McDonalds is an official sponsor of The FIFA Soccer World Cup and also the forthcoming 2012  Olympic Games, then all their food and drink offerings are health promoting and credible. This is factually not true!

It is these subliminal and disguised messages which are slowly having a negative impact on the overall health of the general sport loving public.  Obesity and the manifestation of the various forms of cancers, are becoming more prevalent in this ‘fast food’ culture which is now an increasingly accepted norm.

In summary, everything in our materialistic world boils down to the ‘M’ word – MONEY! It is a well known truth that without money and strong financial backers, the likes of The FIFA Soccer World Cup, The Olympic Games and The World Cricket Series would not take place in their present format and attractive offering. However, there are many ‘healthy’ corporate brands which could be embraced and thereby be given the opportunity of sponsoring these major international sporting events.  Surely a sustainable long term win-win relationship involving tangible benefits to all parties is the desired way forward?  

The question that is being posed of you today, is this:  Are you in fact aware of the living contradiction and the negative impact that is being created when the likes of McDonalds, KFC, Castle Lager and Budweiser sponsor major sporting events? Take a firm conscious stand and encourage those around you to think more deeply about the above important issues.  In life there are always consequences to the actions that we as individuals take!  

I ask you again…Would you dare to pour sand into your Ferrari Engine?

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