Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Saturday, February 07, 2021

horsin' around
When the National Basketball Association announced that it would recreate a little piece of schoolyard ball during the this year’s All-Star Weekend with the introduction of a H-O-R-S-E event, it undoubtedly won hearts and minds with such a fan-friendly move.

And when it subsequently announced that it had sold the naming — or really, lettering — rights to said event to GEICO, it probably lost those same hearts and minds all over again.

I don’t know what Geico shelled out to get their name on this, but it’s genius. I’m almost amazed someone larger (other five-letter brands like, say, Pepsi) didn’t get their hands on this first. Someone earned their Christmas bonus on this sponsorship deal.

You’d think they’d have kept it all in the animal kingdom by using the five-lettered word “gecko”, as a fit-in with GEICO’s famous spokes-lizard. But that wouldn’t be as obvious in highlighting the brand, and that’s what this is all about, after all.

It’ll still be the same Hangman-meets-freethrow rules, but now the five-letter chances spell out the brand-name car insurer. Doubtless the sponsor is hoping the NBA treatment will spread downward, so that someday kids playing streetball will challenged each other to games of G-E-I-C-O.

This is, of course, another example of direct corporate branding creeping ever closer to the on-court (and on-field, and on-ice) product. No big surprise that hoops is leading this charge, as it already sold off part of the game boxscore to Lenovo with a custom-created stat category. This time it’s just the All-Star Game, so it’s not exactly sacred ground; still, this horsing around is a bit unsettling.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 02/07/2021 03:30 PM
Category: Advert./Mktg., Basketball
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1 Feedback »
  1. It hurt. It definitely hurt.

    Comment by David — 02/08/2021 @ 4:14 PM

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