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Monday, May 11, 2009

What will happen now that the sponsors are vilified?

The orgy of progressive angst against sports sponsorships over the past few months has left its mark on the sport landscape. The Wachovia Championship, held a couple of weeks ago in Charlotte, was sponsored by Wachovia because of contractual obligations but was renamed the Quail Hollow Championship, ostensibly to reduce the oprobrium that Wells-Fargo-Wachovia would receive in the general public.

When the sponsorships start to dry up, what then? Ticket prices might go up, but that would be a fools errand on the part of the event promoters. Rather, what is more likely to happen is a reduction in the number of events held, especially in smaller markets. This, in turn, reduces the opportunities for sports fans to attend events. Perhaps that is an unintended consequence of the "get the rich bastards" attitude that prevails at the moment, but it might be a consequence nonetheless.

Here's a clever cartoon from this weeks Sports Business Journal. The situation is not far from what the cartoon depicts.

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