AD-vantageous: Selling Using Sports

12 May

Every time I think I’ve grown numb to product placement, that no hidden-in-plain-sight plea for purchase can make me blink an eye, something happens that makes me shake my head yet again.

If it isn’t the Reeses sticker on the floor of the basketball court at Sprint Center, it’s the name of the website scrawled on the top of the backboard so the camera’s aerial footage will double as another opportunity to get into the minds of potential consumers.

This time, though, I saw a brand in the last place I expected: on the cover of Sports Illustrated. The headline was something like, “Running with the Mavs,” an allusion to the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks and the league playoffs. The dominant image in the photo, however, was a tennis shoe. The distinct ZigTech pattern was prominent, as were the first four letters of REEBOK.

Now, most of the time I don’t notice at all what kind of shoes an athlete is wearing, because the photo is focused on some specific action. On this occasion, however, the shoe was almost the featured item. It was almost like an advertisement for Reebok. Does this strike anyone else as a bit odd? It does for me.

Of course, SI is my favorite magazine. The writing is everything I aspire to: the serious pieces are thorough and thought-provoking, and the comical columns truly make me laugh out loud. The usual quality of the magazine is the reason I was so surprised to see a brand name on the cover.

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One Response to “AD-vantageous: Selling Using Sports”

  1. Matt Zayas May 13, 2011 at 12:03 am #

    the Briggs logo on the court at Bramlage

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