My name is Leo Hentschker, and I have been researching the connection between sports and advertising. During my research, I came across what I believe to be an interesting topic. While I was researching, I started to think who are sports for? Are they for the players, the die-hard fans, the managers, or the occasional viewer? Even though the players carry out the game, I believe sports are for the pleasure of the viewer. Supporting a favorite team allows fans live vicariously through their idol and escapes what is comparatively a boring life. When spectator screams at the umpire or curses off the manager’s “misplays” from their couch, it allows them to feel that they could have made a difference. Sports allow those with problems to drown out their worries with both cheers and jeers.
This train of thought brought me to think of how advertising affects the relationship between a fan and a player. Before widespread endorsements and ad campaigns, the relationship consisted of the off chance of an autograph for a lifetime of respect. However, endorsements help to make the relationship a two-way street. Instead of just watching a player and emulating his attributes, it is now possible to buy the same bat that player has, use his racquet, or drink his favorite energy drink. I believe that advertisements have helped the relationship between the fan and the player. While many critics may accuse players of selling out, endorsements allow fans around the world to get the rush of playing just like their icon. Even thought players may be motivated to sell merchandise for monetary reasons, the end result is a closer relationship between fan and player. This is simply my opinion, and I would be very interested to hear some feedback on both this topic and what was mentioned previously mentioned.