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Johnny Appleseed
09-22-2011, 01:52 AM
Tune in to ESPN2 on a Saturday morning and you'll see the world's most famous game being broadcast to you live from a country 5 time zones away. Soccer has been a niche sport in America for a long time, but increasing number of Hispanic immigrants (legal or illegal - a debate for another site) and a generation of soccer moms have given a rise in popularity. While still hidden in the recesses of the back half of SportsCenter, ESPN2, a hidden tab on Yahoo! Sports, and various other channels of the internet (I dare you to find a funnier blogger than Brooks Peck of Dirty Tackle), soccer has done one thing that the major four haven't: sell itself out. Every inch of the sport possible is covered in globally recognized names. Most noticeably, is the presence of advertisements on their jerseys. Yes, a piece of fabric that is considered sacred to some die-hards in the sporting world has been stained with some corporate label, as teams are finding healthy revenue streams to pay for rising costs of athlete performances. It's just business, after all.
But what would it mean for the hobby? How could it possibly affect our small slice of the sporting world? Well, this all depends on how advertisements would be delivered. Let's look at the average sports jersey: T-shirt sized, consists of a team logo or name on the front, and possibly a number, and a name and a number on the back. About 1/8th of the average jersey has what could be cut up into a "patch" or "tag" or "button hole" or "fight strap" card, carrying a premium. If we take that jersey, and smear advertisements on it (be it one big one or several smaller ones; i.e. the NASCAR firesuit), it would likely come in the form of a sewn-on patch. The value of patch cards would decline, as there would be an increased supply of them. Moreover, certain companies with flashy, multicolored logos would drive down the value of those that are legitimately part of the team's logos already. Thankfully, most businesses keep their logos to three colors or less, typically two colors. The "basic is better" marketing model doesn't apply to sports patch cards, it seems.
Depending on the scope of this, patch cards may even become more common than plain jersey space. Would regular one-colored swatches of fabric now carry value equivalent to two-colors of Amway's Detroit Red Wings patch, simply due to the over-saturation of patch cards? Those cards are already becoming common, and some view them as total worthless junk unless he's a superstar player. Speaking purely economically, the supply of patch cards will increase, and the demand will stay the same, driving prices down. This means return on investments in boxes will diminish, causing the prices of those to go down, and companies will respond by supplying less product overall. One thing is for sure though: fans will be outraged. And the hobby will suffer.

Pheebs888
09-25-2011, 03:10 PM
Is this a contest entry? If so it needs to be a minimum of 700 words long. It currently stands at 500, please either add to it or submit a new entry.

Thank you,
Karine

mrveggieman
10-03-2011, 10:51 AM
They advertise on wnba, cfl and arena football jerseys. If it would bring in more revenue for the sport, lower the cost of tickets, jerseys, and keep the owners from locking out players and players for going on strike then I'm all for it.