There’s not much worse than hearing nonsense about your favorite fringe sport not getting enough “respect”. You don’t want respect for your sport! You want to lock the doors and shutter the windows when you start getting “respect” because that’s when the marketers and advertisers start sniffing around your beloved activity and determining the best way to suck the life force out as quickly as possible.
(Best of three synergistic cross-promotional opportunities, anyone?)
Sorry, ping pong; the last paragraph totally isn’t true. There’s nothing but good that can come from finding out that Budweiser (via their new owner, InBev) has been sniffing around your sport because “Bud Light is a fun brand” and they’d love to be associated with your tournament and ESPN wouldn’t mind broadcasting the finals because
this might be an inroad to China’s consumers they love the game.
Run! Grab your paddles and run for your lives!
InBev’s not the first to this basement party; Coca-Cola jumped in with both feet under their vitaminwater brand last year by combining with 50 Cent for a “Naked Ping Pong” tournament that looked suspiciously like most LA marketing-driven parties. (That’s where this article’s picture comes from.) Jimmy Kimmel’s show even dove in with no clothes on.
“Respect” comes with a cost when you derive it from television exposure and ad revenue; it’s a cost not unlike having to stare at a fat man naked. Don’t feel badly, though; have a Bud Light. It’ll make you feel better. After all, it’s a fun brand!