Advertising and sports go together like peanut butter and jelly, but you can only eat so much

We’ve just left the college bowl season with what seems like over a million sponsors ranging from the Tostitos Bowl or the Capital One Bowl, and we are now on the cusp of the next Super Bowl which will no doubt invade our eyes and ears with advertisements everywhere as usual.

Advertising and sporting events have always gone hand in hand, but now they have surpassed simple hand-holding and have straight up tied the knot, with our stadiums and half time reports adopting the sponsor’s name.

Whether it is the “Chevrolet Half Time Report brought to you by Burger King” or “this third down is brought to you by Sony,” ads have overrun sporting events to a ridiculous extent. It seems like everything is “brought” to us by someone these days, and it makes me wonder what is next in the relationship between advertising and sports.

Our athletic institutions have had a demon knocking on the door for a long time now, a demon known as advertising. I know ads were in athletics everywhere all the time, in your face to an insane degree, but in about the last decade or so it has been taken to a new extreme. Stadiums and arenas which were normally named after some original founder or legendary coach, or maybe even the family that owned the team, are now dubbed with some lame-sounding advertisement/sponsor name.

Those who still pay homage to Cleveland teams know exactly what I mean. The famous Jacobs Field in which the Indians played for years has now been renamed Progressive Field, much to the ire of many Indians faithful. And Gund Arena, former home of the Cavs, was renamed to the god-awful Quicken Loans Arena. There is already enough advertising once you get into any stadium, minor league or major, that it makes it almost pointless to throw a terrible sounding name onto a stadium.

How much more advertising can be thrown at the public whilst at a sporting event? Is the next step going to be racehorses with sponsor stickers all over their bodies a la NASCAR or football teams with ads on their helmets instead of their team’s emblem? Maybe teams will just adopt company’s mascots as their own, such as the Green Bay Geico Geckos or the San Jose Chevy Silverados.

The next step is for our college and high school teams to be infiltrated to the extent professional sports have been. Instead of Doyt Perry Stadium here in Bowling Green, it will be the Subway Stadium, Anderson Arena will be renamed Gamestop Arena and our professors will even start their lectures by saying, “this lesson is brought to you by the good people at McDonald’s.”

The only positive I can see out of this would be that companies and their lust for advertising would be a good tool to convince the NCAA to implement a playoff system for football, because then every game would be big, and they could all be chock full of sponsors to create new consumers between every down, time out and water break. For me, that would be a proper trade off due to the abhorrent way the BCS system is run, but that is a completely different discussion for another day.

Advertising is overrunning everything in our lives at this point and soon everything will be sponsored. Your high school graduation will be sponsored by Clean ‘ Clear, even your birth will be sponsored by Johnson ‘ Johnson. Advertising has advanced so much in the past decade or so, especially in the athletic field, but will the remaining sanctity of our society and sports teams still be intact in another decade? Not if the sponsors have anything to say about it.

This column brought to you by the all new Chevy Equinox.