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What's Wrong with Sponsors?
By: Dwayne W. Waite Jr.
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The beauty of marketing is that it can extend its reach throughout many parts of our society. It can improve our quality of life, and balance the costs that we see. 

But is that a bad thing?

The Consumerist recently ran an article that revealed that less than a third of baseball stadiums were without a corporate sponsor. As a marketing professional and educator, we usually don't mind most of what the blog run by Consumer Reports talks about. But this article, written with an air of negativity, kind of gave us the wrong vibe.

Sponsorships, especially in sports, are probably one of the hottest outlets in marketing during the past 20 years. And from then to now, the fire has only gotten hotter.

Why? Several reasons — transient populations, busy lifestyles, DVR, streaming, and more access to media, to name a few.

Sponsors do two things: 1) keep costs down for both the business and consumer, and 2) allow corporate partnerships and increased trade.

Again, is that a bad thing?

True, some baseball parks are more expensive than others. For example, seeing our Pittsburgh Pirates play at the beautiful PNC Park would cost much less than seeing the Yankees play at Yankee Stadium.

But many other variables than the hands of Corporate America account for that difference.

We honestly wished that there was a day where brands and organizations could truly give consumers an idea of how much certain goods and services would cost without advertising and sponsorships.

A $20 daily newspaper? A $40 weekly magazine, without ads? A $60 ticket to watch the Pittsburgh Pirates?

#aintnobodygottimeforthat

So bemoaning America's former pastime (though it still has the highest average attendance than any pro league) selling out is very unqualified.  

But then again, what would we evil marketing people know?


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About the Author
Dwayne W. Waite Jr. is partner and principal at JDW: The Charlotte Agency, a marketing and advertising shop in Charlotte, NC. He enjoys consumer behavior, economics, and football.
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