I have been surprised at all the media attention over the jersey sponsorship of the Phoenix Mercury. USA Today’s Christine Brennan comments on the sponsorship (she approves) and notes that two WPS teams already have jersey sponsorships.
I’m just not quite sure what’s hidden in all this discourse. It could be an issue of purity and selling out. But give me a break. Women’s sports are “pure” and men’s sports, which have sold every inch of stadium space to the highest bidders are somehow exempt from this criticism? Women’s sports should be resisting the temptation of the almighty dollar? Wouldn’t that make us–gasp–socialists?
Is it a marker of success–that companies will pay for placement on women’s jerseys? Or is it more the above selling out; something some may see women’s sports having to do because they are “less popular” and more in need of these sponsorship dollars?
Brennan correctly notes that athletes who participate in individual sports have had sponsors on their clothing for some time now.
Many of us non-professionals who play team sports have already experienced this. When my softball jersey arrives this week it will have the name of a local law firm on it. I don’t plan on over analyzing it.