The marketing of professional sports has reached new heights and the Seattle Seahawks are at the top of the pile. Today I went down to my local store to see how much the “Conference Championship” T-Shirts would be going for– and I wasn’t surprised to see the $40 price tag for a t-shirt. Free Market Capitalism at it’s finest.
This has been a long time coming for the Seattle sports fan. It wasn’t more than a couple of years ago where everything seemed lost in the Seattle sports world. The Sonics were a long lost cause, The Seahawks with Matt Hasselback was one disapointment from total collapse, the Mariners wallowing in their own self pity. The most promising team award is split between the WNBA and the Sounders who routinely make it to the playoffs, only to get eliminated by the first round.
In reality, the Seahawks Championship shirts should have been handed out for free to any fan that has stood by the team for so many terrible seasons of purely mediocre sport– sport that was, for me, hard to follow for all those years. For those of you who suffered through all of those seasons, I salute you.
But what is hard is watching this game through my sons eyes. My thoughts on this started in the post celebration of last nights sweet victory over our media driven enemy, the San Francisco 49ers. As we watched Richard Sherman “jaw” Crabtree, I watched my sons reaction to Sherman snarling nostrils and hatred– he was truly frightened.
The media blitz behind his comments also gave me pause. All of the trolls of social media took to their computers and smart phones to give their two cents, mostly negative about what transpired. Erin Andrews even took to defending Shermans actions when reports started to surface she was scared.
Its all theater of epic proportions with supporters shelling out billions to be recognized as part of the team. The 12th Man is pure marketing genius, putting the fans on the field, giving them their own place not only helps energize the millionaires taking the field, but also fills the coffers with money so they can show their “support”. It’s pure genius.
My son and I both have jerseys, my wife looks mighty fine in her tight fitting Russell Jersey– we are in! We are a part of this huge celebration and our pocket books are open for all of it.
The big question is does this team represent the city of Seattle? Does it really matter? Do the antics of a sports team reflect on the city itself? Seattle, being one of the prettiest cities in the country has wanted its place in sports history for some time– one has to wonder what we lose in order to achieve it?
Pro Football doesn’t have the kind of people we used to look up to, but over the years the players are either thugs or Jesus freaks. Up until last week, I applauded Russell Wilson’s message:
But after seeing that, I have pretty much lost hope. These sports icons don’t share my beliefs or my morals. Then again, neither does Pete Rose or Lance Armstrong, but I still love baseball and cycling. I know people will find nothing wrong with Russells message, especially if you are a “Christian”. I, however, always take issue with any message, be it social or commercial, when delivered by a sports star in particular. Your relationship with religion should be a personal journey and signing the lords praises while also hauking Sports Wear sends a mixed message. On one end you have Wilson and on the other you have Marshawn Lynch with Beacon Plumbing. The marketing of the Seahawks reaches its arms long and wide.
in the end, does any of it really matter? I guess time will tell– but the time will come soon enough when my son begins to comprehend more and begins to ask questions about these “stars”. I am sure by then the marketing will be even more aggressive and personal and that much harder to defend against.