Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Clearing the archives -- selling out

The ongoing project to transfer the contents of the Archives to this blog continues...

You'll notice that a lot of the articles come from the New Times. Two primary reasons for this: the New Times has an extensive online history for free; and when they do cover ASU athletics, they tend to do so in depth.

Anyway, two articles today from the late 90's, both of which are still highly relevant.

In March 1998, John Dougherty's article ASU plays footsie with Nike detailed then-AD Kevin White's attempt to secure a $5 million per year deal with Nike. Funny, but 10 years later it's obvious that ASU is not one of Nike's "featured" schools. I can buy an FSU, Texas or UNC cap here in PA, but no sign of ASU merchandise.

In The Selling of ASU Football from September 1998, Dougherty reported on the commercialization of the gameday experience.
The real battle during ASU home football games pits fans against a high-tech marketing machine that employs a distracting array of audio, video, live stunts and bright signage to hammer commercial messages into a captive audience.

No matter how the game unfolds, no matter the situation on the field, Sun Devil fans face a fusillade of advertisements. The ads divert attention from the field and refocus the "market" on products and corporations being hawked.

Two years later, ASU was forced to announce that they were reducing the number of in-game commercial announcements.

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