SBD/November 15, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship

Should The NCAA Prohibit Temporary Sponsor Signage From Playing Surfaces?

MSU's Dawson slipped on the Quicken Loans logo at midcourt at the Carrier Classic
The time has come for a school or conference "to propose NCAA legislation banning the use of signs that are not a permanent part of the playing surface" during college basketball games, according to Seth Davis of SI.com. Michigan State F Branden Dawson escaped a serious injury after slipping on the Quicken Loans logo at midcourt of the Carrier Classic Friday, but it is "only a matter of time before it strikes for real." Injuries are part of the game, but "what's not part of the game are the large, garish and dangerous decals that have become all-too-commonplace during these early-season college basketball tournaments." Corporate signage is a "necessary evil in order to attract requisite dollars," but during a large number of games played on a court that had a decal, "at least one player has slipped." Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said, "They gotta get those things off (the court), man. They're just not safe. Let us wear the sponsor logos. I know we need the sponsors. I want 'em. But it's just too dangerous out there." Davis noted while Izzo "raised one idea to have coaches and/or players wear logos;" North Carolina coach Roy Williams "offered a better one by suggesting the television networks superimpose the logos graphically onto the playing surface." Williams: "I watch a lot of football. They have a line (to mark the first down). They don't put that on the field. ... If we want to give someone some publicity, put it on there, but don't put the kids in danger of slipping and sliding on something" (SI.com, 11/14).

MORE OUTCRY: The latest example of logos causing players to slip occurred today at the FedExForum when Memphis G Chris Crawford slipped on a logo for the EA Sports Maui Invitational. ESPN's Brad Nessler said, "The stickers are not part of the normal floor, obviously. They are part of our sponsor. We appreciate that part.” ESPN’s Jimmy Dykes: “If the NCAA really wants to do something that really helps the game, makes those stickers like that on the floor illegal. It’s been a long time coming. We’ve seen it before and that should not be the case. We should be far advanced along in basketball to not continue to allow those stickers. I love the sponsors, I’m all for them. But we need to find another way to get those sponsors on the floor” ("Belmont-Memphis," ESPN, 11/15).
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