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SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

New vests for NFL Photographers
Dave Sizer, Photographer
Shoreline | WA | USA | Posted: 9:11 PM on 07.19.07
->> I'm not sure if this has been covered on other posts but I saw this today regarding the vests that photographers will have to wear this upcoming season. The NFL is requiring all photographers to wear red vests with the Reebok and Canon logos on them. I know for the Seahawks games we used to wear green ones with just numbers on the back. They blended into the background pretty well.
http://www.nppa.org/news_and_events/news/2007/07/nfl01.html
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Frank Casimiro, Photographer
Houston/Sugar Land | TX | USA | Posted: 9:18 PM on 07.19.07
->> You might read this one Dave. Full thread on it started yesterday and took less than 24 hours to acquire 50 post.

http://www.sportsshooter.com/message_display.html?tid=25656
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Frank Casimiro, Photographer
Houston/Sugar Land | TX | USA | Posted: 9:21 PM on 07.19.07
->> Opps, my bad, started day before yesterday bur still filled up fast.
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Dave Sizer, Photographer
Shoreline | WA | USA | Posted: 9:24 PM on 07.19.07
->> Ah, thank you. I figured someone must have heard something about this.
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Tom Knier, Photographer
Landisville | PA | USA | Posted: 12:55 AM on 07.20.07
->> So how much trouble you think I can get into if I cover the logos with Nikon and Nike ads?
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Jody Gomez, Photographer
Murrieta | CA | USA | Posted: 1:39 AM on 07.20.07
->> "Just say no"

too bad not wearing the vest isn't as simple as avoiding drugs, huh?


:~)
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Tom Knier, Photographer
Landisville | PA | USA | Posted: 1:46 AM on 07.20.07
->> The last Super Bowl I shot required my donning a red vest. How bad can this one be?
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Ron Scheffler, Photographer
Hamilton (Toronto area) | Ontario | Canada | Posted: 2:58 AM on 07.20.07
->> Regarding the logos/ads: Why not just wear the vest inside out? Feign ignorance if someone points out your "mistake"...

Hopefully these will be the light fabric vests rather than the semi rigid plastic mesh style.
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Walter Calahan, Photographer
Westminster | MD | USA | Posted: 7:44 AM on 07.20.07
->> Ron - like your solution. Saves on gaffer's tape.

Tom - can I use a New Balance logo instead of Nike? That's what I wear. Grin.
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Mike Carlson, Photographer
Bayonet Point | FL | USA | Posted: 8:27 AM on 07.20.07
->> Turning them inside out is probably not a viable option. While it would hide the logos, most of the NFL stadiums last year that required vests did so with numbers on the back registered to each person wearing one. This was apparently used by the 'eyes in the sky' and security on-field to ID any rules offenders.

In Tampa they also had printed on the back in big words if it was a Photo/TV or NETWORK credential to determine which line you could step up to.
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Michael Fischer, Photographer
Spencer | Ia | USA | Posted: 8:58 AM on 07.20.07
->> *IF* the issue is wearing vests, that's one thing. IF the issue is being used as a human billboard; that's another. I can understand the need for security and being able to ID an individual; being used as a billboard is demeaning. I still think if people feel strongly they need to complain to Canon. IF you did nothing more than start a thread on here asking Canon to put pressure on the NFL and then individuals would add their names I think you would have a chance of getting somewhere.

I gave up shooting the NFL 2 seasons ago; loved the people, it was fun, but I could see the profitability going south. I can't say I miss it a whole lot. Been there, done it, moved on.
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Sean D. Elliot, Photographer, Photo Editor
Norwich | CT | USA | Posted: 10:15 AM on 07.20.07
->> The latest from the NPPA includes a letter to the NFL Commissioner:

http://www.nppa.org/news_and_events/news/2007/07/nfl02.html
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Bob Ford, Photographer
Lehighton | Pa | USA | Posted: 10:56 AM on 07.20.07
->> Sean, I didn't see a response from the NFL commisioner. As a matter of fact it said in the article, "The NFL's commissioner has not yet responded to NPPA's letter..."

There was a response from the National Football Conference's director of information, Michael Signora, which didn't really address the issues.

One of the things he said about the logos on the vests is that they are "very small".

I wonder if it would be OK if we started selling our NFL photos to commercial clients as long as we kept them "real small"?
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Bob Ford, Photographer
Lehighton | Pa | USA | Posted: 10:59 AM on 07.20.07
->> Sean, sorry, I read your post wrong. I thought you said letter "FROM" NFL commisioner.
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Joe Andras, Photographer
Orange County | CA | USA | Posted: 11:05 AM on 07.20.07
->> Maybe we could sawmp the little logos by covering our vests with dozens of our own little pieces of "flair":


http://tinyurl.com/3cr3tg
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George Bridges, Photographer, Photo Editor
Washington | DC | USA | Posted: 11:49 AM on 07.20.07
->> Joe,

How many pieces of flair to you recommend? I know 15 is the minimum, but none of us want to do just the minimum -- but I won't go to 37!
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Jim Bounds, Photographer
Raleigh | NC | usa | Posted: 12:28 PM on 07.20.07
->> George- its Office Space.......
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George Bridges, Photographer, Photo Editor
Washington | DC | USA | Posted: 1:01 PM on 07.20.07
->> Jim,

Ummm I know.

In "Office Space" the minimum number of flair for Chotchkies employees' was 15 while the annoying, happy waiter had 37 and was pointed to be the "model employee"

Hence the numbers I chose.
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Jeremy Harmon, Photo Editor, Photographer
Salt Lake City | UT | USA | Posted: 2:10 PM on 07.20.07
->> "The last Super Bowl I shot required my donning a red vest. How bad can this one be?"

The issue isn't the vest. The issue is the logos on the vest. Working journalists shouldn't be used as advertising space.
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Jeremy Harmon, Photo Editor, Photographer
Salt Lake City | UT | USA | Posted: 2:17 PM on 07.20.07
->> p.s.

The computer on my desk has a lot in common with the fax machine from Office Space.
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Doug Keese, Photographer
New Orleans | LA | United States | Posted: 2:44 PM on 07.20.07
->> So, let me first say I'm not agreeing with the vest/logo issue on the NFL side. I do howerver, want to throw out a devil's advocate, which the nfl spokesman actually touched on at the end of the nppa article. How many threads have there been on here looking specifically for the Canon monopod pad, when you could probably much easier find just a plain one? Yet we all "want" the Canon version. Are we taping over the nike, rebok, new balance logos on the shoes that we wear on the sidelines to maintain our ethics as journalists, as the nppa article states? Like I said, I'm not getting paid by canon or rebok, so I'm not crazy about it either. But I'm also not taping over the Canon on my camera strap or the swoosh on my shoes.
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Scott Rovak, Photographer
St. Louis | MO | USA | Posted: 2:57 PM on 07.20.07
->> Jeremy, Yes the logos are the main point, but it is also a shame that we have to wear a color that sticks out and ruins our background. Other pros will agree with me that in some cities vests have been grey or green and blend in nicely with the background, but others that are yellow or red can just about ruin a photo. Here in St. Louis with the dark navy and green walls the background is fairly clean, but with red vests a lot of images will lose their impact. At the AFC Championship game in Indy this year the vests were almost the same color as the Colts' jerseys. I have other vests from events from previous Super Bowls that almost matched the field color. From up above security can see a photo vest if it has a small number on it or it says photographer on the back. At games here the head of the Rams security walks around with a couple of usher supervisors at the beginning of each half and checks the photogs armbands which have been our credentials for the past few years. So why can't they look at the back of a green or grey vest and read the number or the word photographer?
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Bob Ford, Photographer
Lehighton | Pa | USA | Posted: 3:35 PM on 07.20.07
->> Doug, the NFC spokesman who said that the logos are about the same size as the logos on our camera straps is either forgetting, or purposely ignoring the fact that we have the CHOICE to change our strap to plain black.

The same goes for any logos we might have on our clothing or shoes. We can cover them if we choose. For the record I don't have a Canon or Nikon monopod cover.

A nice compromise might be two toned vests. Dark in the front so it's not a distracting background for the photos from the other sideline, and red in the back so that security's eye in the sky can see. Oh, and no logos at all.

Of course there will sometimes be a photo of the back of a vest, but the majority of the photographers will be facing the field most of the time.
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Eric Canha, Photographer
Brockton | MA | United States | Posted: 3:36 PM on 07.20.07
->> Gee Scott Gillette's background is red, being that I AM a XXL I expect that the vest will have a slimming effect. Now all I ask is that you guys coming to Patriots land shoot me only from the WAIST UP ;>

On a more serious note. The credentials are hard enough to get, and truth be told, the owners could slap $5,000 price tags on them and be sold out in most markets in 20 minutes or less. We are walking in someone else's home and making our bread off of their product. They don't need the coverage, just consider how well received you are at any event. From training camps where you are either flat out told to your face or it is STRONGLY implied that any photos of injuries will/could cost you your vest to actual press conferences where there is little doubt that the coach it tolerating you and only for a very brief period AND only if you stick a the accepted vanilla line of questions. There seems to be a belief that we are either wanted or needed on the sideline. I'm not sure how that idea has survived past the mid 80's but believe me that the NFL's days of NEEDING media coverage has long passed. Their focus will now be to either rid themselves of us or make us part of their information wing.

Be very careful of the point that you make today for it may be the point that is driven into you tomorrow.
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Wesley R. Bush, Photographer
Nashville | TN | U.S. | Posted: 1:02 AM on 07.21.07
->> This spoof would be funny if it weren't going to be true one day.

http://sportsdesigner.blogs.com/1/2007/07/kneeling-billbo.html
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Drew Broadley, Photographer
Wellington | NZ | New Zealand | Posted: 8:48 PM on 07.22.07
->> Rather than complaining, embrace!

Ask for a new pair of Nikes and some free Canon loaner gear for donning these vests.
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Dave Kennedy, Photographer
Danbury | CT | US | Posted: 8:57 PM on 07.22.07
->> Just cover the logos up with tape. If everyone on the sidelines does it "they" will get the hint.
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Chris Detrick, Photographer, Assistant
Salt Lake City | UT | USA | Posted: 9:14 PM on 07.22.07
->> Great Editorial in the Chicago Tribune:

http://tinyurl.com/3468hk
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Jack Kurtz, Photographer
Phoenix | AZ | United States | Posted: 9:26 PM on 07.22.07
->> that is a great editorial. Two thoughts: 1) How many newspapers and other media organizations (AP? Getty?) will have the intestinal fortitude to do this? and would wearing the vest inside out so the logos aren't visible, as others have mentioned, be a work around?

jack
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Will Powers, Photographer
Denver | CO | USA | Posted: 9:38 PM on 07.22.07
->> Perhaps with the NBA official that is being investigated, the leagues will suffer from credibility by owning the media. They don't want to tell the fans that the officials or players are on the take. Professional sports will be more like pro wrestling. I don't think Vegas takes bets on wrestling. Maybe pro sports will actually need the ethical journalists on the sideline and in the news conference to assure the public that for the most part, sports is on the up and up. Steriods issue excluded. The media didn't question that soon enough.
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Hal Smith, Photographer
Sedalia | MO | USA | Posted: 10:58 PM on 07.22.07
->> What happens if the pressure put on media outlits by professional sports leagues were to cause newspapers, local television stations and unlicensed websites so many problems that game coverage were to disappear.

I mean really, how much longer can this crap go on? I might work at a small publication, but I still follow what the other media outlits are enduring in their trials and tribulations with ever more money hungry pro-sports leagues.

Sure we will be seeing game clips on ESPN, but league owned networks are expensive for the average television viewer and the normal networks are being priced out of the market for broadcast rights. In some cities when ticket sales are under expectations local broadcast of the game will blacked-out to local viewers.

I like watching a basketball, football, baseball or hockey game as much as the next guy, but I can't support the tactics of the league organiztion's dealings with media outlits.

Most of the leagues have teams that use facilities paid for in part with public funds; our tax dollars, but the teams with league approval are able to dictate the rights of the media to visually cover the games.

It bothers me that press freedom can be trampled upon so easily by organizations that depend so heavily on the media.
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Drew Broadley, Photographer
Wellington | NZ | New Zealand | Posted: 11:26 PM on 07.22.07
->> Hal, just to pull your comment out of context and back into the threads context...

When does press freedom get restricted by having a logo on your back ?

I'm not talking a "this is one step, next they'll make me wear nikes and I have a gammy knee which only reeboks fit therefore i wont be able to move around the field" problem, just the current one at hand.
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Mike Brice, Photographer
Toledo | OH | USA | Posted: 1:50 AM on 07.23.07
->> What do you think happens to the Chicago Tribune if they don't cover the Bears? Guess what - circulation drops, advertising revenue drops, and they lay off the photographer who was supposed to be shooting the Bears but protested.

Sure the LPGA backed down, but seriously, anyone every have a party to watch the final round of an LPGA event? No. They need coverage the NFL hasn't needed for 10 years.

The chances that newspapers can execute a visual coverage blackout is pretty slim. And even if they do, I doubt that its going to impact the bottom line of the NFL. Last time I checked, the newspaper didn't pay the football team like the networks do.
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Sean D. Elliot, Photographer, Photo Editor
Norwich | CT | USA | Posted: 6:57 AM on 07.23.07
->> I'd like to think most of us recognize this vest/logo issue as a bit of a red herring. Clearly we all have in the past worn logos. Clearly the vests are not some new contrivance in and of themselves. But also clearly as a profession we have gotten sick and tired of being treated like second class citizens who answer to the higher power (money). At some point in time you have to draw a line in the sand.

It can be pretty easily argued that most of the public already perceives the press as being compromised when it comes to issues of bias. Few would probably believe that the logos in question degrade our credibility much more than it already has been by Fox News and ... well, any major corporate media owner that has slanted coverage to protect a major advertiser ...

But if this fight signals that start of the press finally taking a stand in the name of ethics, then I'm in favor. I intend to use this argument as a reminder every time a paper or TV station thinks of backsliding, taking the easy way out when the ethical way to deal with a situation would be more challenging. Bravo to the Chigago Tribune for standing-up. Let's hope they're not the last.
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John Harrington, Photographer
Washington | DC | USA | Posted: 1:59 AM on 07.24.07
->> To those who are not concerned because "the logo is small/on-the-front", I say to you that they will incrementally take your "ad space".

You need only look so far as the FunPix section of the site:

What it should/could be:
http://www.sportsshooter.com/funpix_view.html?id=6213

What it IS at Pimlico, and WILL BE at all other venues soon:
http://www.sportsshooter.com/funpix_view.html?id=6725

That NIKON logo is atleast 3 inches tall and spans the entire bib!. Nice how this funpix shows both the front and back.

It's one thing to require a bright vest for security purposes, but, in reality, having been on the field at the All-Star game and World Series, there are so many non-vested people, that policing that is really a joke.

Would you like to see how your backside will be used by the NFL - a la Preakness style -- soon?

Here's a nice Getty Images shot showing the NFL logo - imagine that being YOU and the NFL logo saying something else:
http://editorial.gettyimages.com/Search/Detail.aspx?axd=DetailPaging.Search|1&axs=0|73204093&id=73204093

(Note, if you've never been to the Getty site, choose your country/language, and you'll get there. If not, search for image # 73204093 for the above pic, and #73203983 for below)

ALSO - those URLs break, so you'll have to cut-and-paste them.

Or here:
http://editorial.gettyimages.com/Search/Detail.aspx?axd=DetailPaging.Search|1&axs=0|73203983&id=73203983

When someone sees that bright BLANK space down on the field, they see dollar-signs - as ad revenue.

Consider this:

The Bedford Group has a Sports Marketing white paper here:
http://www.bedfordgroupconsulting.com/resources/white_papers/sportsmarketin...

Which posits:

Q: What is the cost of the stadium billboard (per 1,000 potential viewers) vs. that of similar outdoor boards? What's the premium for being in the stadium with a captive audience?

A: Note, it is generally accepted that a sign in a sports venue can be more valuable than a billboard because: (1) The audience is fixed for several hours at a time vs. simply passing by in a car (2) the sign can be shown on television during matches, thus gaining a wider audience.

For televised games, what is the value of the Company logo (from the stadium sign) appearing occasionally during each broadcast? Take a guess and determine that, for example, it will get 30 seconds of airtime
during each broadcast game, then give the sign additional value (getting a 30 second TV spot free).

NOW, what is your backside worth? IF ALL of the photographers are wearing a corporate logo in their backside, which is being seen by fans time and time again - DURING the game on tv AND from the stands by 60k+, it's easy to figure out.

So, let's do some math:

Clear Channel has a rate calculator - available at:
http://www.clearchanneloutdoor.com/rates/

Now, going through that calculator - SF Bay Area, 8-sheet poster, general market, they will charge a mid-range price of $40,000 for four weeks, or $10,000 a week, and this presupposes that the four week "circulation" is approximately 57,000 people. For this, an 8 sheet poster is 5'x11', or 55 square feet. Your back is approximately 18" x 18" of usable space, or 2.25 square feet. $10k at 55 sq ft equates to $182 per sq ft. For your backside, that'd be $409, per person, for one stadium with 50,000+.

Imagine this conversation:
"We credential 40 photographers per game, and all are fieldside, that's 40 times 2.25 sq ft per person, or 90 square feet. Clear Channel charges about $16,000 to reach 50,000 people or so at that size. You are reaching not just that audience, but our research, in reviewing broadcast tapes of games from the last 24 months, show that those blank-slate bibs appear for a combined total of 16 seconds a game - during the game, when fans are more likely to be paying attention. NFL division playoff games have a rate of $600,000 per 30-second spot. Since, in those ads, you are designing the presentation, it makes sense. In this case, we're showcasing your logo fieldside, but only for 16 seconds. To start things off, we'll cut the per-second cost that 16 seconds would be - $320,000 down to $160,000, for the one game. But you have to commit to an entire season."

(tv rate source:
http://www.data360.org/dataset.aspx?Data_Set_Id=4189)

So, you're worth $409 as a static billboard, per game, and $4,000 as a portion of the tv ad (40 backsides at $160,000 per game), or, $4,409 - per game. Now, how many games are there?

Nice. A stringer makes $200 Work-for-hire from the wire service, who earns that back with just one image sale, and the team makes $4,000+ off your backside. In the x-rated industry, that's called at DP.
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Baron Sekiya, Photographer
Kailua-Kona | HI | USA | Posted: 2:33 AM on 07.24.07
->> If you cover Ironman Triathlon you have enough corporate logos on your media shirt to look like a NASCAR fender. They've done this for years at the triathlon. One of the differences though is that you could wear a vest or something similar to cover the logos, but you still have to wear the shirt as a credentialed photographer.
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Brad Mangin, Photographer
Pleasanton | CA | USA | Posted: 10:54 AM on 07.24.07
->> Photo District News posted a story about this yesterday that also includes four pictures- the first we have seen- of the actual red vest:

Vestgate: Why An NFL Security Move Angered Photographers
By Daryl Lang
http://www.pdnonline.com/pdn/newswire/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=10...

One of the highlights of the story is seeing SportsShooter.com member and Oakland Tribune staffer D. Ross Cameron quoted in the story.
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Walter Calahan, Photographer
Westminster | MD | USA | Posted: 12:24 PM on 07.24.07
->> Come winter, can the vests be worn over heavy winter parkas? If I were to cover a Green Bay game at home in December, I sure the heck don't want to struggle with a small red vest overtop my arctic apparel.

Or how about when it rains? Does the NFL require the vest to be worn overtop one's rain gear?

I simply wish identification for security didn't need logos.

But then perhaps our Homeland Security Department can ask all American citizens who travel on airplanes to wear an American Flag. Grin.

Judging from the size of the Canon logo on front of the vest, I still say a piece of duct tape will work well as a cover. The sponsor's logo is not needed for security. Right?

Perhaps we can get John Harrington to write one of his treatises, like above, have it turned into a slicker, and place his words over the logos. The length of John's posting will cover ANYTHING. Ha ha ha ha.

Sorry John. I'm always amazingly amused by the length of your posts. Always written by someone who gets paid by the word, or at least spacerate. Double Grin.
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Sean D. Elliot, Photographer, Photo Editor
Norwich | CT | USA | Posted: 1:15 PM on 07.24.07
->> Man, those are some ugly vests.

Certainly going to need to get at least one-size up if you're going to wear it over a parka or rain slicker, that is for sure. I say a piece of red gaffer tape over each of the sponsor logos and nobody will ever notice.

Though it's amazing the sponsors are paying for such dismal display. Canon's logo is at least visible, the Reebok logo is pointless ... not that it has anything to do with the actual issue.
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Frank Casimiro, Photographer
Houston/Sugar Land | TX | USA | Posted: 1:43 PM on 07.24.07
->> Since my hair length is mid back, I wonder if they would make me cut my hair or wear it up under a hat to make sure the logo and ID number is visible.
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Alan Look, Photographer
Bloomington | IL | United States | Posted: 2:03 PM on 07.24.07
->> Why not turn this around to our benefit? I really like John H.'s math, but I doubt we can get that.

So, maybe we make up some stick on decals. Freelancers and independants can simply put their website URL, Staffers can put the corporation logo or name on the decal. After you pick up your vest, simply apply the LARGE decal to the vest being careful not to cover the other logos.

Ya, it's probably a bit unethical and 2 wrongs don't make a right, but if you can't lick 'em - join 'em

Walter - I'm looking for a couple of grins too :)
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Allen Reid, Photographer
Richmond | TX | USA | Posted: 11:43 AM on 07.26.07
->> RTNDA seeking a meeting with the NFL about a variety of issues:

http://www.rtnda.org/foi/nflguidelinesletter.shtml
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Aaron Rhoads, Photographer
McComb | MS | USA | Posted: 2:00 PM on 07.26.07
->> I'm going to have Nikon and Nike tatooed on my face/fore head before I cover any games.
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Allen Reid, Photographer
Richmond | TX | USA | Posted: 11:44 AM on 07.29.07
->> I got an idea. Instead of taping over the entire Canon logo, put tape over the "C-A" and last "N". That would "NO" visible.

Sorry, I don't have an way to send a message out of the word "Reebok".
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Tony Donaldson, Photographer
Los Angeles | CA | USA | Posted: 5:56 PM on 07.30.07
->> Haha:

http://www.grimmy.com/images/MP_Archive/MP_2007/MP0727.gif
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Eric Canha, Photographer
Brockton | MA | United States | Posted: 5:59 PM on 07.30.07
->> Tony,
I LOVE THAT !!! Thanks !
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Robert Hanashiro, Photographer
Los Angeles | CA | | Posted: 12:51 PM on 07.31.07
->> A response by the NFL to the Chicago Tribune's editorial on the red vest issue:

http://tinyurl.com/32rgnv

"Several of the world's major news organizations, including the Associated Press, are fully aware that logos are commonplace on event vests, and as a result have accepted the NFL's plan..."
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Aaron Rhoads, Photographer
McComb | MS | USA | Posted: 3:38 PM on 07.31.07
->> The red vests will clash with my auburn mane.
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Jason Palmer, Photographer
Wichita Falls | TX | USA | Posted: 3:46 PM on 07.31.07
->> Almost just as annoying to me as the Canon and RBK ads....

Could the NFL logo be any larger? I mean seriously, I think the fans sitting behind us who paid $100s of dollars for their seat don't need to be reminded they are at an NFL game.
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Eric Canha, Photographer
Brockton | MA | United States | Posted: 3:54 PM on 07.31.07
->> Jason,

This is what those fans behind you are looking at
http://dallascowboys.com/cheerleaders/ If they are looking at your back instead, you should worry!
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