Being an Englishman, the cricket summer here in Australia hasn’t been the most successful (master of understatement there!). As I’m currently unemployed and have a fair amount of time on my hands I have watched a lot of the cricket on TV in the last couple of months. And one thing that has caught my attention is the amount of advertising they have on there, particularly in the Big Bash League. Everything is sponsored. The drinks break – sponsored. The instant replays – sponsored. The graphics – sponsored.
Why is it necessary for every fragment of the game to have a sponsor? I’m no expert but I find it hard to believe that this sort of blatant product placement works. Who watches a ‘Bunnings Warehouse instant replay’ and immediately decides to head to Bunnings and buy a trowel or whatever? I would imagine most people would be concentrating on the action rather than their next trip to the garden centre. The Gatorade sponsorship of the drinks break makes me laugh too. If I fancy a drink after any type of workout there isn’t really much of a choice. Gatorade or Powerade I would say. Now I doubt I would specifically buy a Gatorade just because they sponsored a drinks break in the BBL. You can tell the commentators find it a bit embarrassing. On a number of occasions Gilchrist or Fleming or whoever are in the middle of their analysis and then at the end have to quickly blurt out the name of the sponsor to save face. They must have the producers in their ear all the time reminding them that they must mention the sponsor, must mention the sponsor! It may just be me, but this sort of stuff puts me off using any of these companies in the future. Advertising for me should be low-key, non-intrusive and imaginative rather than constant and in your face. Still, once England have lost the last two T20 matches I won’t have to worry about it any more!