Sports and marketing has co-existed for a long time without one standing in the way of other. That held true, even when Janet Jackson had the greatest wardrobe mal-function of the history of sports marketing in the greatest stage of then all – the Super Bowl. All in the name of PR and ratings!
Whether we like it or not, marketing has done wonders for sports in general. What Kerry Packer and Channel 9 did some 30 years ago has surely sparked life into a rather boring game of cricket. And IPL and 20-20 cricket will definitely take this game to another level.
But none does it better that the Americans. What they are really good at is turning a game into a spectator sport. Hence wrestling became sports entertainment. Motor-sport became NASCAR (faster and more money of course). The greatest show for Americans are not soccer final, but the Super Bowl, which it self is a great marketing exercise. By tampering with sports to make it faster (So TV viewers can enjoy it), introducing rituals like Super Bowl Sunday, (More advertising), branding sports teams ( Chicago Bulls, Detroit Pistons etc.), making college level sports vibrant (NCAA), unlimited substitutions (None wants to watch tired players hopping around!!! They want fresh legs jumping and running) and having multiple breaks during the game (So people can buy more soda during breaks, hence more money for Coca Cola and Budweiser) – Americans have truly shown the world how to do sports marketing.
We may not like the evil spread of marketing in sports. But for sports in Bangladesh to go to the next level, this American style sports marketing will do wonders.