Bitching about the prevalance of advertising in the sports world is nothing new for The DFR. Indeed, it’s a recurring theme around here.
However, the practice of treating the eyes of sports fans as a perpetual advertising dump has recently taken on a new dimension in the NBA. This season, for the first time in the Association’s history, the advertising has migrated from the broadcasts and every available surface in the arenas to the very uniforms the players are wearing.
Embed from Getty Images
The Pelicans’ Anthony Davis sports a Zatarain’s logo — whether he likes it or not
This change has happened with hardly a ripple of protest or comment from the nation’s (or for that matter, the world’s) NBA fans. Apparently, at this point, people have become so inured to the constant assault that is advertising that introducing a little bit of “branding” on a player’s chest is not even worth noticing for most observers.
Still, you’d think it might ring a few more bells than it has, given that the NBA’s workforce largely consists of Black people. Because once upon a time in this country, Black people getting “branded”–by their almost-universally White owners–meant something entirely different from sporting the logo of some famous (or obscure) business concern.
It’s enough to make a knowledgable observer cite–not for the first time–the famous philosopher Timon from The Lion King: “And everybody’s OK with this?!” Continue reading Branding Without Irons, Or Irony