Consider the following scenario. Then place yourself in the position of an executive with a sport franchise or agency facing challenging economic times. Reflect and respond on the ethical issues involved with reversing previous bans on advertising. Your response should be at least 200 words in length. You are required to use at least your textbook as source material for your response. All sources used, including the textbook, must be referenced; paraphrased and quoted material must have accompanying citations.
In 2009 NBA team owners reversed a long-time ban on courtside advertising by spirits brands in an effort to increase revenue during the current economic downturn. Before this decision, alcoholic spirits signage was limited to premium clubs and related signage that was not on camera during telecasts. The NBA decision followed that of MLB, the National Hockey League (NHL), and NASCAR in allowing spirits advertising within camera view. This ownership vote opens new revenue sources for all NBA teams who have observed the ban on such advertising since 1991. According to Chris Granger, senior vice president of team marketing and business operations for the NBA, "We are always trying to find ways to drive more revenue and this falls in line with that." Granger added, "We are working too on what other opportunities will exist" (Lombardo & Lefton, 2009, 5).
Over the past decade, various ad restrictions at sport properties regarding formerly off-limit categories have been loosened. For example, casino resorts are a fixture at many big sport venues and on sports telecasts, as are state lotteries. Gary Stevenson, a principal of WMG stated, "I don't have an issue with this because I don't see a lot of difference between hard liquor and beer when it comes to advertising" (Lombardo & Lefton, 2009, 12). Given the state of the global economy, what comes next? Will tobacco be given consideration under a set of narrow and restrictive guidelines for messaging? One thing that remains clear is that as some categories and businesses cut back on their sport spending, those revenues need to be replaced. The list of potential replacements is not a long one at this point. Stay tuned.
Pedersen, P.M., Parks, J.B., Quarterman, J., & Thibault, L. (2011). Contemporary sport management (4th ed.). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.