Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Political Athletics: The New Era

It makes sense that campaign planners for presidential candidates would take advantage of all of the major sporting events occurring in these months and weeks prior to the 2012 Presidential Election. This past summer, London hosted one of the most successful Olympic Games in modern times, but it was especially successful for the United States. With the United Kingdom a permanently stable ally in Europe, it was easy for many American companies to penetrate the market overseas, but more importantly, these companies spent A LOT of money on advertising in the USA. Other events, such as the MLB Playoffs, College Football, and the NFL have also attracted a lot of spending from corporate partners. One thing that has made this year so unique is how politicians, and their lobbyists have used the major stages of these huge sporting events to portray their political messages nationwide.

In Florida, since the beginning of August, both parties have combined to spend $5.7 million dollars on advertising spots during sporting events in the states five largest markets; Over $3.5 million has been spent in Ohio in just three cities during the past 10 weeks.

There are many things that shape political landscapes and the mind of the voter, and sports is definitely one of them. When you are a die-hard Texas Longhorns fan and you see Paul Ryan at a Longhorns game, you are going to associate their success and your love for the team with a more open-mind toward Ryan. When you see Joe Biden at a Phillies game every other week with his hat and 7 bodyguards, you are going to be less objective when trying to question his political motives.

In the 21 markets that have been focused on by the planners of the respective parties throughout battleground states, nearly $10 million has been spent on sport advertising alone. Obama has outspent Romney by $5.1 million to $4 million, but is only ahead by 67 commercial or advertising spots.

The last thing on the fans mind when they turn on a sporting event is politics, and for good reason. No one wants to discuss something so serious in a passive and passionate environment such as the culture of sporting events. This is why it is so brilliant to place political advertisements during programming where a viewer may not expect to see one. This technique will help find the undecided voters that are hiding from the political talk shows elsewhere on TV. These live events grant the fan the ability to live in the moment, while watching a sport that they love, and the usage of political (often) propaganda during these events to sway one person to the other side of the party lines is not going away anytime soon. The sport fan must accept this flaw in the political advertising and campaigning structure for what it is and allow itself the time to think about the question placed in front of America: Who should be the next President of the United States? And who will he pick to win his NCAA March Madness Bracket next year? We know Obama is going to go for North Carolina, but Romney is still up-in-the-air, maybe he will just outsource his bracket.

Excuse the political puns, but follow me on Twitter: kevinj_murray

1 comment:

  1. I think it would affect a Texas Longhorn fan more than Paul Ryan congratulated Colt McCoy on a fantastic career at Oklahoma St. https://twitter.com/scottfujita99/status/258645986325458945.