Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Would you......(3)

(picture from AndreasNYC Flickr photostream)

A football superstar, Michael Vick, is expected to plead guilty for an horrible crime: dogs fighting and dogs murder.
Why it' s horrible: cause Vick and partners were training the dogs, make them fight and kill the dogs underperforming. And they did so in a very professional way, a real industry.
He will be probably sent to jail, fired from the Falcons and by the sponsors.
But th best reaction came from the Falcons supporters: they ask the worst for him.

I ate him and his partners because I love animals and dogs, specifically, and I hope that his career is ended and not to see him anymore on a football field.

But I want to see the story from a marketing point of view.

Everyday there is more and more story involving athletes of any sports, football, basket, cyclism, etc.
And I feel that sport sponsorship is becoming a mine field.

Winning is everything, no matter the way, but this is becoming a threat to the sponsors: who wants to have his carefully nurtured brand or product linked to an athlete or a sport accused of bribery?

Would you put your money on an athlet or a sport with more or less trust today than it was in the past?
Which question would you ask for to stay as safe as possible?
Would you accept to sponsor not the questioned big winner but the one who plays ethically?


Gavin Heaton said...

Great post, G ... one of the things about sports is that it is a FAMILY thing. When a high profile athlete sets a poor example in public life, the impact is not just on the fans and the teams but on kids. Sure performance is important ... but performance and ethics combined is a much more compelling story.

Advertisers understand this as do corporate sponsors.

Lewis Green said...


Unfortunately, there is more money in sponsorships today than ever before in the U.S. And the corporate sponsors only care about the name recognition of the star. Vick had lots of sponsors.

This is not the first time he has been in trouble, and the sponsors stayed with him despite all the signals indicating his morals and ethics were not of the highest standards. It took the dog fight and gambling, which today's headlines say he will not admit to, for the sponsors to take action.

My guess: If he returns to football and is a star again, sponsors will line up for his signature on the bottom line. It is about making money for these guys, not ethics.

Pier said...

even if not a sport star, the example given by kate moss supports lewis' opinion. here in Italy a lot of famous people have been in trouble with the law - valentino rossi is the last one - but nevertheless didn't lose the fans' support. they may lose some sponsors, but many other will be more than happy to sign them.

pecunia non olet, the Romans said.

gianandrea said...

Thanks to all for comments. I'm with Gavin when says that "performance and ethics combined is a much more compelling story".
Maybe, there could be some companies that decide to throw out money on questioned athlets but the answers will be in the hands of consumers.
And, by the way, Fastweb received thousands of mail asking to give the sack to Valentino: this should mean something.