Hey, recessions suck for everybody, but few feel it as hard as those trying to sell advertising. Though it’s bad business policy, advertising budgets are among the first to get slashed when the corporate purse strings start tightening. The NBA knows this, of course, and rather than feel budget pinches of their own, they’ve opened up their licensing to an old friend who feels right at home in a recession: Sweet Mama Booze!
According to the SPORTS BUSINESS JOURNAL, for the first time in almost 20 years, the NBA will resume allowing courtside and TV-visible ads for hard liquor companies. This leaves the NFL as the only major sport who still bans the spots, though - ahem - their fans hardly need the encouragement. The NBA’s senior VP of team marketing and business operations, Chris Granger, explains why this deci$ion wa$ perfect for the National Ba$ketball A$$ociation:
“We are always trying to find ways to drive more revenue and this falls in line with that. […] The vote was simply to rescind the prohibition of teams selling [hard liquor] courtside ads. We are working on what other opportunities will exist.”
Any further translation would just be piling on. Oh, what the hell, let’s do it anyway: “MONEY MONEY MONEY WE DON’T CARE WHERE IT COMES FROM MONEYYYYYYY!”
The natural next step, as the article points out, is selling television ad space to the distillers during games. This probably will - but shouldn’t - upset teetotalers who think any mention of drinking during sports telecasts leads at least 10 more children to ruin every time. They should feel safe, however, because there is nothing more sanitized and nonsensical on TV - short of, like, the Wiggles - than a hard alcohol commercial. Observe:
Seriously, what the hell is that about? Nobody ever actually consumes alcohol in those commercials, which makes everyone’s behavior completely off-kilter, and they always go out of their way to encourage the viewer not to drink to excess. That’s funny, because isn’t getting Barkleyed precisely the point of making alcohol 80-proof in the first place? “Well, that was a damned fine one-serving martini, barkeep. Club sodas for the rest of the night!” It doesn’t happen that way.
Anyway, be on the lookout for booze ads in pro basketball now… and be on the lookout for them to make as little sense as ever.