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|| SportsShooter.com: News Item: Posted 1999-06-10

... And Now A Word From Kodak
By Wayne Shipman, Kodak

Photo by
From a sponsor's point of view, the costs are escalating and they want maximum exposure. Having a sea of vests with a logo on the back as your foreground shot for TV is probably a big "win" for the public relations group. If the photographer was paid by the sponsoring organization, then they should wear the uniform. There should be no requirement to be advertisement space without compensation.

1) Were safety or law enforcement personnel wearing the same bibs? Security issue or blatant commercialism?
2) Was the product or sponsor the offensive part, or the thought of being advert space without pay?
3) If their newspaper or news organization were the sponsor, would they refuse to wear the logo'd bib?
4) Would they wear it if it was a competing news organization? Or a competing media (video vs. print media)?

I fear that as the world grows smaller, so does the available space for advertising. Take bus wraps for example. Would you refuse to ride on a bus that advertised a product or organization that you took offense to? At trade shows and conventions the 'free' bus from the hotel is paid or subsidized by an advertiser; the ad may be for my competitor's product. Should I wait for a different bus? Or stand in front of their sign with my Kodak shirt?

Many new choices for advert space are now infringing the sports photographer's background. Kodak, for example, has purchased rights to paint the outfield fences in bright yellow with our ad message on it. It's not for the fans in the ballpark, but for the replayed highlights on the evening news and sports channels. Mega-eyeball exposure for relatively low cost. Oooopps, home run over left field fence, Kodak is there. Valiant
catch off left field wall, KODAK, KODAK, KODAK. Subliminal and in-your-face at the same time.

As a photo editor, if I have "the shot" and want it to play double-truck in my national magazine, do I really want to give Kodak free advertising space? Now I choose to paint out the whole wall yellow, or drop the shot, or crop out the offending material. All have been done to counteract the 'problem'.

As my employer is Kodak, I would be less than honest if I said it doesn't work. It keeps me and quite a few others employed. I don't think it helps print photographers or editors. But I won't dare to speak for them, they can speak for themselves. I think MLB, NBA, NFL, etc. are to blame for allowing the advert space to creep into households mindshare, for the sake of a few dollars... a few Billion dollars, really.

Guess it's not such a big issue, huh?


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