Essay on The Commercialization of Basketball

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The Commercialization of Basketball

The game of basketball is changing, but not willingly or by it own doing. Corporate America has been poking around in the petri dish containing American sports for years now, steering its path of evolution wherever desired. The effects can easily be seen on and around the basketball court in the form of corporate logos engrained on the floor, product advertisements everywhere from the rafters to the programs to the scorers table, and company labels stitched into players uniforms and shoes. Basketball, and sport in general, has become one of the most effective commercial vehicles and marketing tools, but at what price? How has sport, both the actual competition and the viewing experience,
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Why is the Target Center so saturated with these images? Entertainment. These corporations have realized that people come to basketball games to be entertained and if their products can be marketed in a way that promises entertainment, or presented in a way that is entertaining, then people will pay attention, and money.

With just a flip of the 2002-2003 Minnesota Timberwolves Yearbook cover this can be seen. The reader is immediately faced with faced with a multitude of entertainment opportunities that go far beyond basketball. The inside of the cover presents a combination advertisement for Whirlpool and Best Buy. The page is full of vibrant colors and centers on a mirror image of a young woman beneath a waterfall of both water and colors. “Wash Your World Clean” stands out in the middle of the page, and the slogans for the respective advertising companies also appear: “Turn on the Fun” and “Just Imagine” (Yearbook). Perhaps somewhat ironically, each company could effectively use the other’s catchphrase. Both promise some sort of entertainment, something that fans attending a basketball game are certainly craving. The words “fun” and “imagine” promise to fulfill what the readers desire. Incidentally, the “Turn on the Fun” slogan belongs to Best Buy and “Just Imagine” to Whirlpool. The page adjacent to the colorful inside cover is quite different. It has a

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