Geoff Molson, RBC and their new sandwich men

A few minutes before his traditional golf tournament, the Canadian announced on Monday that it had entered into a multi-year advertising partnership with the Royal Bank of Canada. That’s how it should be said, I guess, if you respect the order of the letters appearing on the logo.

And this means that a blue, white and gold crest of the Bank will now appear on the uniform of the players, at the height of the chest, on the right side.

Maybe I’m being too romantic, but it kind of felt like hanging a giant McDonald’s logo on top of the Eiffel Tower.

So here is the new official jersey of the Canadian. For the modest sum of $224.95, fans can purchase it at the team store. By availing themselves of this option, they will thus spend such a sum of money to promote a bank.

We believe we are dreaming.

***

During his press conference, to my great astonishment, Geoff Molson did not seem tortured for a second at the idea of ​​transforming the sweater worn by Maurice Richard, Jean Béliveau, Guy Lafleur and Patrick Roy into advertising space.

He simply presented it as an option now available to all 32 NHL teams and as a evolution of the NHL and North American professional sports.

It’s something the NHL gave us, and all 32 teams voted for it. (…) We are not the only ones to do so. One day we’ll see it through the league with all the teamscommented the owner of the Canadian.

Again, maybe I’m being too romantic. But I don’t see how this decision could be anything other than a regression. Just as was, quite recently, the decision of the NHL to associate with many casinos and betting houses in order to help them better rob fans. There is no longer anything to curb the greed of these people.

***

As the owner of the CH and a member of a family that has been associated with this prestigious organization for decades, Geoff Molson should have been the fiercest defender of the historical and identity character of this jersey.

However, quite the opposite has just happened. He dumped these values ​​(sacred in the eyes of many supporters) at the first opportunity, and with the snap of his fingers! The Montreal Canadiens, sadly, were among the first NHL teams to rush to sell ad space on their jerseys.

Whether the Florida Panthers or the Nashville Predators turn their players into sandwich men, good for them! But naively, I thought that Sainte-Flanelle had a different status.

Just as I believe that the most prestigious North American sports franchises should all fight tooth and nail to preserve their unique character and perpetuate their rich history. Isn’t there something beautiful in seeing the Boston Red Sox spend hundreds of millions constantly renovating their old stadium instead of building a new one every 20 years like the Texas Rangers do? ?

In the same vein, because the Yankees have a different status, you don’t expect to see men dressed as sausage races (like in Milwaukee) when you travel to see a game in New York. When you’re royalty, you act like it.

***

That said, let’s go back a bit to the question at the beginning. When will the leaders of the CH (or should we now say the RBCH?) feel like they have squeezed the lemon enough? Or to have abused their clientele?

Fans who go to the Bell Center or who watch the games on TV are already exposed to veritable publicity orgies. It has become indecent.

The name of the building has been sold. Each meter of the strip displays advertisements. The bleacher sections are sponsored. There are ads on the rink as well as behind the benches. The two digital rings that encircle the bleachers project advertising. And of course, the giant screen broadcasts ads in high definition, not to mention the mind-numbing promotional contests imposed on spectators during game breaks.

The Zambonis are sponsored. Rink attendant uniforms are sponsored. Game timing is scheduled to allow networks to take advantage of three two-minute commercial breaks each period. Even the amphitheater DJ is sponsored!

Not to mention that we were already displaying advertisements on the players’ helmets, on their water bottles and on their towels. Trademarks also appear on sticks, pants, helmets, shirts, pads and skates (yes, manufacturers pay for that).

On TV, digital ads are added in bay windows during game footage. And last season, US networks began adding more virtual ads to cover the few remaining white spaces on rinks.

Still on TV, every segment, no matter how insignificant, such as the introduction of goalies, key points to watch, power play, three stars, the start or analysis of each period is sold to an advertiser. Not to mention the other layers of digital overlays that now pop up all the time, at the bottom of the screen or near the dial and pointing as the game unfolds.

***

Reread all this and tell me seriously that it would have been impossible to keep a little embarrassment to preserve the integrity of the jersey. The only remaining near-pristine space that a high percentage of supporters genuinely cared about.

I nearly choked when Geoff Molson was asked if the appearance of these jersey ads wouldn’t open the door to a second, then a third ad, until NHL hockey players end up looking like pizza on skates like in Europe.

I have my doubts. I would be very surprisedreplied the owner.

What an incredible sense of humor.

Scoop code:

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