The proliferation of ad creep has made it far too easy for institutions in need of money to turn to marketers for relief. Naming building and stadiums was once taboo. Now, it's odd if a sports arena is not named after a marketer. A school in New Jersey sold the naming rights to its gymnasium to local grocery store Shop-Rite and now an elementary school in suburban Detroit is considering courting marketers to name its new school.
While the co-opting of graffiti by marketers hasn't gone so well, aside from Lincoln's recent bike messenger faux paux, PUMA appears to understand how to mingle corporate promotion with street cred. PUMA launched Team PUMA, a bike messenger team that supports bike track racing. PUMA, which actively supports the community rather than exploiting it, provides team members with medical insurance and travel expenses for races and has not yet turned it into a corporate logo-thon. It seems subtle enough. Other might disagree. The line get more blurry each day.
Not that there'd ever be a semi-nude Paris Hilton Carl's Jr. ad affixed to their shirts but the NBA has not ruled out selling ad space on player's uniforms. NBA Commissioner David Stern says it's inevitable and Dallas Mavericks Owner Mark Cuban said if it was up to him, ads would already be on uniforms. Readers, is this a good thing or are we racing towards the day when holographic ads are projected in front of our faces 24/7?