GE Goes Green
Image Source: AdWeek.com
Sigh. The purity of sports as we know it is diminishing. OK, that might be a little dramatic, but still. Last year, the NBA approved the sale of jersey sponsorships and, now — for the first time — any brand can lay claim to real estate on a team’s uniform. (For a pretty penny, of course.) International soccer teams have been doing this for years; apparently now the time has come for my favorite league to cross to the dark side. And within that league, my fave team, the Boston Celtics, recently announced that they will become the third NBA team (after the Philadelphia 76ers and Sacramento Kings) to enter a jersey sponsorship with General Electric. As we all know, GE is in the process of moving its global headquarters to the Seaport, so this move is a big splash in their transition to take over the city’s collective consciousness.
The multi-year agreement will not only mean their logo will be adorned on the signature green uniforms, but also means that GE is now the “exclusive data and analytics partner, providing the team with medical equipment and lighting as well as data science to help the team with player performance, injury prevention and business optimization.” If GE is set to help improve the team’s chances to win, I guess that’s a plus. And, I have to admit, the GE logo on the new unis aren’t as intrusive as I expected. Nevertheless, the NBA’s move does open the floodgates for more brand integration and more profiteering of the sport. Although these teams are businesses with the intent to make money, I am somewhat weary of the path professional sports are headed towards. Let’s just hope it doesn’t soon become “all about the green” (and no, I’m not talking about the Celt’s jerseys!)
Posted by Anne