Saturday, October 3, 2009

The Scoreboard

I went to the BYU football game last weekend versus Colorado State. It was a good game and we pulled out a pretty easy win despite (again) Max Hall's uncanny ability to throw an interception at the worst possible time (see BYU v Utah last year, or any game this year). He should be called Max "We-have-too-much-momentum-I-need-to-do-something-about-it" Hall. But that's another story, I still have some faith in him.

What really stuck out to me in the game was that everywhere I looked in the entire stadium someone was trying to sell me something. I know, hot dogs, sodas, peanuts and cracker jacks and all that, that's fine. I'm talking about the shameless advertising. Like when the net is raised for a field goal or extra point, I'm trying to watch the game but I'm being blocked by a giant Allstate logo (we were sitting in the endzone). The net is see-through for a reason, I want to watch the game not buy insurance. I watched another game on TV and every time either team got within 20 yards of the endzone the screen would be taken up by a giant red Dodge logo projected onto the field. They called it the "Dodge red zone rally" or something stupid like that. And now, every time BYU plays Utah in any sport it's called the "Deseret First Duel." Yes, they sold the name of a rivalry game. To me, it was always called the "Holy War" or just "THE GAME" but now they are making money by phasing out clever rivalry names and selling the rights to name it something stupid.

But the worst thing I've seen is the awful display of shameless advertising also known as the north endzone scoreboard. Only about 1/3 of the actual scoreboard area is designated to something related to BYU football. The rest of the space is advertising dedicated to the Who's Who of stereotypical Provo-based businesses. First off is Nu Skin, the poster-boy of multi-level marketing schemes that for some reason proliferate like jackrabbits in Happy Valley (see also Tahitian Noni, ACN, Goyin, Usana, Xango, Young Family Farms, etc. You can recognize them by the great and spacious buildings they occupy). Then you have the "internet company" Omniture. Not even the people that work there knows what it does. And of course, in an attempt to recruit more naive college students, you have the door-to-door alarm sales company Apx which, I have heard, runs off of a business plan written by Satan himself. That may seem a little extreme, but what would you call a company that targets returned missionaries to hire and tells them they will make a small fortune if they spend their summer lying to peoples' faces?

Anyway back to the point. Advertising. To illustrate, I'm going to try something today I've never tried before. I'm going to add a picture that I made.

I'm not saying all advertising is bad. I know the program needs money to fund the scholarships, facilities, equipment, steroids, paying off the refs, Lasik surgery for Max Hall so he can see where the defenders are at and not throw to them, and whatever else they need to make the team successful. But it seems like in the last couple of years advertising is starting to interfere with the fan watching the game, which is the actual source of income. No fans = no money.

So here's how I'm going to do my part to stop this. I'm not ever going to buy Allstate insurance. I'm not going to bank at Deseret First. I'm not going to be happy for Adobe's recent buyout of Omniture. I'm going to actively protest all multi-level marketing schemes. And I'm definitely not going to have an alarm installed by Apx, but I have a lot of reasons for that.


  1. mike, where has your blog been all my life. the world is now a better place.

  2. For years at Utah the announcer would say "That's another UTAH, FIRST DOWN", the last part in unison with the crowd.

    Last year, not exagerrating, they changed it to "That's another Les Schwab First Down!".

    There must have been backlash because this year they're saying "Les Schwab says that's another Utah First Down!"