Taking TV Sports Marketing To Extremes

Have you considered all the unusual and personal places where advertising is?

Think about some of those public bathroom messaging in restaurants — at least the last time most of us were allowed in one. Of course, you might be thinking of messaging on foreheads, bald heads, crosswalks, and checkout conveyor belts.

How about umpire uniforms for the professional sport of cricket, the game that helped birth American baseball? Specifically, those official jerseys showcasing ads in one key area: armpits.

This is what Australia’s big cricket league is doing.

In that sport, umpires raise their arms for all kind of calls, including when someone makes a “six” — a ball hit over a boundary (kind of a home run in baseball parlance) signaled by the umpire raising both hands above their head.

When the officials throw up their arms in the air for all calls, they apparently leave them there for a while. TV cameras typically zoom in to get a clear determination of a ref’s decision.



Professional athletes in Australia and elsewhere have seen growing marketing on their uniforms. In the U.S., the NBA actively displays ads on player uniforms.

The Australian market’s deodorant/antiperspirant brand, Unilever’s Rexona, is on board. Maybe some of its messaging can even hide actual personal evidence.

Turns out, armpit advertising isn’t quite at the armpit level – somewhat below that area, more of the underarm region. Still, the connection makes sense.

Rexona says it has begun the process of trademarking “pit-vertising” as it seeks to find fresh messaging space on uniforms.

How about other body parts?

In 2000, when Mike Tyson was still in some boxing form, Julius Francis faced him in a Manchester, England, bout. Francis was paid by the U.K.’s Daily Mirror to carry the newspaper’s logo on the soles of his boxing boots — as it was widely anticipated that Tyson would knocked him down.

Francis was knocked down five times in four minutes — and the Daily Mirror had a knockout of a marketing campaign.

Next time, I’m hoping for messaging from Dr. Scholls.

1 comment about "Taking TV Sports Marketing To Extremes".
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  1. John Grono from GAP Research, December 14, 2020 at 3:35 p.m.

    Wayne, is that the pits of marketing?

    There is also another rather unusual marketing angle in our 'Big Bash League'.

    Cricket revolves around the wicket - three stumps with two bails on top of them, with the objective of 'taking the wicket'.   This could be by bowling the ball (your 'pitch' ... we play on a 'cricket pitch' btw) or running them out (your tagging the runner to a base) in which case the stumps must be broken as indicated by the bails being dislodged off the top of the stumps before the player makes their ground behind the crease (your being on the base).

    Over the years there have been cases where the ball hits the stumps, the bails lift off ... and land back on the stumps (not out).   But more commonly is whether the runner makes their ground behind the crease before the bails come off.

    So a smart company called Zing created Zing bails which contain a small battery powered microprocessor which lights up the bails withing 1/1000th of a second when they are dislodged.

    KFC haa their Zinger burger and quickly stepped in to sponsor the Zinger bails.   Further, they extended their association by leveraging their KFC bucket by promoting bucket-heads.   Each game you see hundreds of people (mainly kids) proudly wearingt their KFC bucket with eye-holes etc,. cut out.

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