By Ken Reed
The number of drop-in ads during radio and television broadcasts of Major League Baseball (MLB) games is completely out of hand.
The problem is especially troublesome with radio broadcasts. Seemingly, every single development in a baseball game now has to be “brought to you by Company XYZ.” It’s truly annoying and is to the point where baseball fans are being moved to turn off the radio.
For the most part, we all know that pro sports are driven by a PAAC (profit-at-all-costs) mentality. However, when thinking about how to maximize revenues, shouldn’t MLB executives consider that their obnoxious radio broadcasts are turning their fans off?
When it comes to drop-in ads during radio broadcasts, every American and National League team is a serial offender. But it seems the New York Yankees have taken this disgusting art form to a new level.
Here are some examples from an actual Yankees radio broadcast:
· “The game time temperature is brought to you by Brothers Supply, your number one source for ice air PTACs, water source heat pumps and fan coils.”
· “The national anthem salute to America is brought to you by Mutual of America.”
· “The starting battery is brought to you by Interstate Battery Distributors of New York and Connecticut. Every battery for every need.”
· “The first walk of the game is brought to you by Intel Power 2 in 1, flexible as you are.”
· “The call to the bullpen is brought to you by Geico, 15 minute can save you 15% or more on your car insurance.”
· “The defensive alignment is brought to you by Black Bear Forest Fresh deli meats, franks and cheeses, only at ShopRite.”
· “Scoreboard update is brought to you by Mercedes Benz Tri-State dealer.”
· “Today’s game attendance brought to you by Columbia Bank, serving New Jersey for 90 years.”
My take on this subject a couple years ago still holds true today — even more so:
“The bottom line is, listening to baseball radio broadcasts today isn’t as enjoyable or comforting as it used to be. It’s more like meeting a long-time friend for a relaxing coffee chat only to get barraged by a sales pitch for the latest multi-level marketing scheme.”
Here at League of Fans, we’ve tried to publicly shame MLB teams into cutting way back on this practice, unfortunately to no avail. So, we decided to try a different tact. We enlisted writer and comedian Steve Skrovan to put together a short piece of satire highlighting the absurdity of the ubiquitous drop-in ads in radio broadcasts today.
Skrovan did an excellent job with it. Trust me, it’s worth five minutes of your time. Take a listen.
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
Sports Forum Podcast
Episode #10 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: An Issues Discussion With Paul Dolan – Dolan is the Cleveland Indians Owner and CEO. He discusses the use of Native American names and logos by sports teams and the decisions to drop the Chief Wahoo logo and the upcoming change to the team name. Other baseball topics include health and safety, possible MLB rule changes and youth participation in the sport.
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Episode #9 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Talking Sports Issues With Ralph Nader – Nader is a consumer advocate and was named one of the “100 Most Influential Americans of the 20th Century” by Time magazine. He is the founder of League of Fans.
Episode #8 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: How Can We Save College Sports From Overcommercialization and Professionalization? – The guest is Dr. David Ridpath, a sports business professor and past president of the Drake Group
Episode #7 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Brain Trauma and CTE Risk in Sports With Dr. Ann McKee – Dr. McKee works in the field of neuropathology and has demonstrated that “mild” repetitive head trauma can provoke chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a devastating neurodegenerative disease.
Episode #6 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: The Need for Quality Physical Education in Our Schools is Greater Than Ever – The guest is Clayton Ellis, one of our nation’s leading advocates for getting our young people to be more physically active.
Episode #5 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Youth Sports with Positive Coaching Alliance Founder Jim Thompson – Thompson started Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) in 1998 to help create a movement to transform the culture of youth sports from “win-at-all-costs” to a positive, character-building experience.
Media"How We Can Save Sports" author Ken Reed appears on Fox & Friends to explain how there's "too much adult in youth sports."
Ken Reed appears on Mornings with Gail from KFKA Radio in Colorado to discuss bad parenting in youth athletics.
“Should College Athletes Be Paid?” Ken Reed on The Morning Show from Wisconsin Public Radio
Ken Reed appears on KGNU Community Radio in Colorado (at 02:30) to discuss equality in sports and Title IX.
Ken Reed appears on the Ralph Nader Radio Hour (at 38:35) to discuss his book The Sports Reformers: Working to Make the World of Sports a Better Place, and to talk about some current sports issues.
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
League of Fans is a sports reform project founded by Ralph Nader to fight for the higher principles of justice, fair play, equal opportunity and civil rights in sports; and to encourage safety and civic responsibility in sports industry and culture.
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