October 25, 2017

MLB And Increased Advertising

Updated with article quote below.

Major League Baseball - whose first instinct when making any alterations to its product is to do the absolute wrong thing - continues down the slippery slope of increased advertising during postseason games, hoping that fans grow so immune that uniforms will one day resemble NASCAR vehicles.

(The reason why MLB screws up everything it does is that it never - never, never, never, never! - does anything with the goal of bettering the game for fans. MLB's only concerns are either the cable companies or its deep-pocketed sponsors.)

The NBA has begun the practice of having advertising on players' uniforms and MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said earlier this year that he is open to the idea for his sport.

I'm sure you know that the Dodgers did not win Game 1 of the "World Series" last night, but rather Game 1 of the "World Series Presented By YouTube TV". Here are snips from four separate stories at MLB.com (whose writers clearly have their marching orders):

Craig Calcaterra, NBC Sports:
This in-story advertising ... certainly makes one wonder about the disclaimer MLB.com places on every one of its articles which reads "This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs." That has to be a lie, right? Because I know Richard Justice and Joe Posnanski, I have talked to both of them in person and I know damn well that they don't casually refer to the World Series as "The World Series Presented by YouTube TV." That was either mandated or inserted by an editor who, in turn, got a memo from someone above them telling them that that is how the Series will be referred to. ... My guess is that YouTube specifically paid for that kind of branding. It makes one wonder what else is for sale in MLB.com's news stories.
Late in last night's game, Fox inserted three commercials between batters that shrunk our view of the game to an afterthought. With two outs in the bottom of the seventh, fans were treated to this fast food commercial:

In both the top and bottom of the eighth, Fox polluted the screen with this:

MLB has not yet gone so far as to put the sponsor's name ahead of the term "World Series", but I'm sure they'd like to. I want to think a lot of fans would complain about that, but sadly, I am probably wrong.


Jim Goodale said...

Nauseating. As a "pile-on" I'll mention the numerous Boston media stories about the "likeability problem" the Red Sox have that never mention the endless and invasive promos on NESN.

Nathan said...

We've never been closer to the subsidized time of David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest. Let's just call 2017 something like Year of YouTube TV.

David Cho said...

Yeah, it's pretty sickening. Did you notice the announcers, whenever the camera zooms in on some celebrity, plugging some show, "Look, there's ____ of some show _____ on ____ premiering next Wednesday." Seriously. WTF. It's like The Truman Show where the actors and actresses around Truman working commercials into their conversations.

mattymatty said...

It's the Chevrolet World Series presented by Ford and re-presented by Ford and Wendy's and McDonalds and Ford again!

Looking forward to the announcers spending so much time spitting out sponsor names they miss parts of the action on the field.

allan said...

Listening to Sox games on the radio, when they go to the out-of-town scoreboard, the intro advertisement is so long - the sponsor's name, the product, some editorializing about how great it is - I always expect the guy to say, "Oops, we have no more time for the scores, back to you, Joe." ... I guarantee you that he spends more time reading the ad than he does giving updates on other games.