With the prevalence of corruption arising from the FIFA to the IAFF and now within the upcoming Olympic Games, we have to wonder, what should sponsors do?
Marketing Week recently published an article telling sponsors exactly what they should do, but regardless of sponsors calling for change and large events still have an ever popular appeal, we have to wonder, what are our so called role models teaching us?
As kids, one moment we’re told that cheaters never prosper but then a parent mutters that if you aren’t cheating you aren’t trying.
So which is it? Should I tell my eight-year-old son to try his best against an opposing basketball team with kids twice his size? Or do I tell my daughter to trip the opposing soccer player to steal the ball?
With the 2016 Olympics approaching we have seen blood doping scandals become a trend and fleeing sponsors a result of the aftermath. But when the International Olympic Committee Chairman, Thomas Bach, stated that the decision to let individual (Russian) athletes compete if they can comply with the IOCs testing program “is about doing justice to clean athletes all over the world,” I have to wonder, is this justice or futile attempt to enact change.
Society takes its cue from champions, in this instance, Olympic athletes. Time and again we see top level coaches attempt to reduce the unpredictability of human performance. But who can blame them when the pressure to win is so all-encompassing that they must push the boundaries, operate in the gray and some cases flat out cheat, risking the possibility of getting caught for the glory of winning the gold.
Anyone who has played Pop Warner football can recall their coaches stating that there isn’t an “I” in team, a worthy try to encourage teamwork. However, as a parent, you become conflicted, obviously, you want your kid’s team to win but at what cost? You don’t fill them full of steroids before peewee soccer, but parents have resorted to lying about Johny or Julie’s age to play on a specific team forcing leagues to verify birth certificates during registration.
Another prime of example of scandals and sponsors fleeing is ‘deflategate’ in 2015. So why did the NFL league did not renounce the Patriots 2015 Championship win and eventual SuperBowl 49 victory. It would be logical to assume that the Indianapolis Colts and the Seattle Seahawks would vehemently fight to see injustice rectified yet the Patriots, not the Colts, played in SuperBowl 49.
So then we ask, why? For a scandal of such magnitude to occur with no direct repercussions, one has to wonder why?
The answer is simple; it would expose rampant team cheating in the NFL and most definitely tarnish the most respected brand in US professional sports. I will save the conspiracy theory that Tom Brady was Bill Belichick’s scapegoat for another post. You would assume that society would punish Tom Brady for being a cheater, but you would be wrong. Interestingly enough, after the NFL announced the four-game suspension, Tom Brady’s apparel sales spiked by 100%, which makes you wonder about the incongruence from our societal values.
Fleeing sponsors or sponsors enacting change aside, it seems that any publicity could be good publicity, maybe even for Russia?