Last August, Dr. Pepper sent out a press release announcing that it “…entered into an agreement with ESPN to be the presenting sponsor of the official trophy awarded at the 2010 Citi BCS National Championship Game. The Coaches’ Trophy presented by Dr Pepper will also appear in various ESPN content throughout the upcoming season.”
Forget Cam Newton’s Dad, rapacious sports agents, the Ohio State five and every other embarrassing example of just how much money this flawed system wrings from the sweat of young, unpaid amateur athletes… Just parse that sentence for a moment and follow the trail of bigtime corporate investment in this game. As a longtime college football fan, it’s kind of nauseating. We are mere steps away from becoming like the Manchester United soccer team and wearing “Vodafone” on our jerseys. Although ours might say “Verizon”…or the far sportier “Sprint” if we’re lucky.
But things really got awful with this visual, broadcast at various points during last night’s telecast. Look, I like Dr. Pepper; their diet product is delicious. But still, seeing that crimson Dr. Pepper logo radiate off the onyx base of a trophy that commemorates the highest achievement in college football feels about as inappropriate as putting a Century 21 sign on the White House lawn.
By Dennis Ryan, CCO, Element 79