The Rise of Shirt Sponsorship in English Football
Look at photos or videos of the great footballers from the early-to-mid twentieth century – George Best at Manchester United, for example – and one thing immediately strikes you: the plainness of the kits. You have the club’s colours, their crest, the player’s number… and that’s it. Fast-forward to 2018 and the first thing you notice on a football kit is the advertising. It’s everywhere. There’s the massive advert on the front, which dominates the club crest in terms of size. There’s the manufacturer’s logo. As of the 2017/18 season, there are shirt sleeve sponsors now too. This level of advertising hasn’t simply appeared, however. Over recent decades, the size of the sponsorship deals clubs have negotiated has increased hugely, vastly outstripping the rate of inflation. Premier League clubs will now seek long-term contracts which secure them – in the case of the biggest sponsorship deals – massive sums. In turn, the number of companies who are able to sponsor a football club has been whittled down enormously. To understand the scale of the changes undergone by Premier League clubs in this regard, we must go back to the very beginning. The first British club to become sponsored wasn’t Manchester United, Liverpool or Arsenal. It was lowly Kettering Town, who signed a sponsorship deal with a local tyre company back in 1976. The shirt sponsor was banned almost immediately by the FA. It wasn’t until the next season, in 1977, when the first sponsorships – for Bolton and Derby – were actually permittedBy the dawn of the Premier League era in 1992, almost every major club had a sponsorship deal in place (Wimbledon were the sole exception in the top flight). Many of the companies involved were still local businesses, however. Norwich City, who finished third that season, were sponsored by the Norwich and Peterborough Building Society. Southampton had a deal with a family-run business in the area, Draper Tools. For the record, those teams today are sponsored by LeoVegas and Virgin respectively. Even then, of course, some sponsors were bigger than others. Arsenal were memorably sponsored by Japanese consumer electronics giant JVC. Manchester United had a deal with rival company Sharp. Still, there remained a solid mix between British-based and international sponsors. In the modern day, that mix is long gone. There isn’t a single local sponsor left in the Premier League. In fact, there are only three sponsors who are even headquartered in the UK: Standard Chartered, Virgin Media and FXPro. The changing nature of Premier League shirt sponsors has directly followed the rise of globalisation, particularly favouring the rapidly-developing Chinese and Middle Eastern economies. Much of the sponsorship money now comes from thriving East Asian companies, with several clubs – such as Crystal Palace and Huddersfield – even having Chinese characters on their shirts, to appeal to a television audience half the world away. Two of the biggest sponsorship deals – Etihad Airways and Fly Emirates, signed with Man City and Arsenal respectively – come courtesy of the oil-rich UAE. The biggest deal of all – Manchester United’s with Chevrolet – almost feels quaint in its lack of exoticism, and its advertising of a car manufacturer whose parent company, General Motors, went bankrupt in 2009. There has also been a huge change in the nature of the businesses who advertise on Premier League kits. In the inaugural 1992/93 season’s kits, a wide variety of sectors were represented: technology, alcohol, insurance, car manufacturers, local companies … even Classic FM. No single sector or industry was dominant. Nothing could be further from the truth today. Betting has become inextricably linked to Premier League football, not just through the bookies’ omnipresent football-focused TV adverts, but through their shirt sponsorships too. Of the 20 Premier League teams, nine of them are sponsored by betting companies. If we dip down a little to the Championship, this increases to a whopping 17 out of the 24 clubs. Overall, that means, in England’s top two divisions, nearly 60 percent of the clubs bare bookies’ logos on their shirts. The relationship between gambling and football could hardly be stronger.Interestingly, however, it’s the not the big-name high street bookies who have claimed dominion of this coveted space; your William Hills, bet365s, and so on. In fact, the only one vaguely close to being based in the UK is Betway, sponsors of West Ham United, who have offices in Guernsey. It’s primarily foreign companies, with the Chinese bookmakers – W88, ManBetX and Ope Sports – clearly dominant. Whilst they may be looking to grow their customer base in the UK, their primary reason for these deals is surely to be prominent amongst Premier League fans back in China. Again, we see globalisation in action via Premier League sponsorships. Football has a massive attraction for betting companies. Shirt sponsorship has become one of the main ways in which bookmakers seek to grow their brand, and they’re willing to take enormous risks to do so. Let’s take Betway as an example. They were only founded in 2006, and certainly don’t belong amongst the bookmaking powerhouses like Ladbrokes and Coral. Despite this, they were still willing to commit to a deal worth over £10m with West Ham; the largest outside the big six Premier League clubs. That represents an enormous gamble (no pun intended), but it was clearly one they were willing to take, for a chance to make the Betway betting firm one of the more visible bookies.Times change quickly in football. Less than 50 years ago, football shirts were completely bare. Now, every Premier League club has a multi-year, multi-million-pound sponsorship deal, all for a couple of patches on their shirts. The nature of those sponsorships has changed too over the years, but two things look certain: these deals are only going to grow in size, and – thanks in part to the sponsorship – betting will continue to be inextricably linked with football. Article as posted on These Football Times...
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Canadian Hockey League (CHL) welcomes Kia Canada as new Partner to Drive Canada's national past-time
The Canadian Hockey League in association with Kia Canada Inc. are proud to announce a new partnership whereby Kia Canada becomes the Official Automotive Partner of the Canadian Hockey League, Western Hockey League, Ontario Hockey League, Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, as well as new presenting sponsor of the Memorial Cup.The new partnership officially launches today with media events in Quebec City and Calgary where the logo for the 2019 Memorial Cup Presented by Kia was unveiled and the host city for the 2020 Memorial Cup Presented by Kia was announced as Kelowna, British Columbia.   "On behalf of the Canadian Hockey League it is my pleasure to welcome Kia Canada to the CHL family," said CHL President David Branch. "We are excited to work together to align our goals and build a strong partnership that includes creating a unique and memorable experience at our distinguished national championship. We look forward to the Memorial Cup Presented by Kia in Halifax this May, and our 2020 event in Western Canada."The Memorial Cup has a rich tradition that has shaped the way junior hockey is played in North America.  The trophy was originally known as the OHA Memorial Cup and was donated by the Ontario Hockey Association in March, 1919, in remembrance of the many soldiers who paid the supreme sacrifice for Canada in the First Wold War.  In 2010 the Memorial Cup was rededicated to the memory of all fallen Canadian Military Personnel.  Last season marked the centennial celebration of the Memorial Cup where it was presented for the 100th time to the Acadie-Bathurst Titan in Regina.  The 2019 Memorial Cup Presented by Kia will feature the host Halifax Mooseheads along with the champions from the WHL, OHL, and QMJHL competing May 16-26."At Kia, we believe in the power that sports have to bring people and communities together so, as we enter our 20th year in Canada, we are proud to be a new partner of the Canadian Hockey League – the highest junior echelon of Canada's favourite sport," said Michael Kopke, Director of Marketing, Kia Canada Inc. "With our industry-leading quality and advanced safety and technology features, Kia's lineup is a great fit for the CHL and Canadian hockey families wanting to stay safe and warm on their way to the rink; and everyone at Kia will be working hard to drive our national past-time and working within communities across the country to provide more opportunities for Canadians to watch, play and love the sport of hockey."Kia Canada will also have the opportunity to engage with CHL fans and communities across the country as an associate partner of the CIBC Canada Russia Series and the Sherwin-Williams CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game.  Throughout the regular season, they will help spotlight some of the league's best teams with feature content and title sponsorship of the CHL's popular weekly top-10 rankings, and then join each regional league as a playoff partner during the stretch drive towards the Memorial Cup Presented by Kia.  With commitment to community top of mind, Kia Canada will also present Humanitarian of the Year awards in all three leagues and to a national recipient at the annual CHL Awards Ceremony....
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 Sonnet, Canada’s first fully online home and auto insurance, has partnered with the National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) to feature members of the NHLPA in a campaign that highlights the evolution of the game and its all-stars.The entertaining campaign pairs young players with alumni to show how the sport and the athletes have changed over the years, from warm-up moves to tape reviews. Just as Sonnet has evolved the insurance experience for Canadians, this integration with key players will show fans how their favourite game has evolved through entertaining commercials, social media content, and more.The first installment of the campaign is a series of TV commercials that feature NHLPA members Jonathan Drouin, Johnny Gaudreau and William Nylander in a way fans of the game haven’t seen them before – taking on the legends of the game. The first of the commercials will launch on October 3, and each of the 30-second commercials will be showcased on TV and social media, rolling out throughout the course of the 2018-19 season.“At Sonnet, we’re so pleased to start this hockey season in partnership with the NHLPA,” said Roger Dunbar, SVP, Sonnet Insurance. “Hockey has an important place in the hearts and minds of Canadians, and this partnership allows us to connect fans with their favourite players across the country in a fun, engaging way.”“We are excited to continue our partnership with Sonnet and work together on innovative content that is built around, and features, the players”, said Sandra Monteiro, Chief of Global Business Strategies. “Our strong relationship with Sonnet allows us to showcase the players away from the ice and gives fans to chance to connect with both the players and this great brand. ”The partnership continues Sonnet’s focus on connecting fans with their favourite players following the development of digital content and experiential opportunities in the 2017-18 season....
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Cannvas Sponsors Lip Sync Battles Cancer - Pancreatic Cancer Fundraiser in Montreal
Cannvas MedTech Inc., a leading business technology company in the cannabis space, is pleased to announce it is partnering with Lip Sync Battles Cancer in support of Pancreatic Cancer Canada to sponsor the third annual Lip Sync Battles Cancer fundraiser in Montreal, QC."We are pleased to partner with Lip Sync Battles and Pancreatic Cancer Canada for this very special event in Montreal," said Daniel Davidzon, Marketing Manager, Cannvas MedTech Inc. "Many of us have been touched by cancer in one way or another, and pancreatic cancer has among the toughest prognoses even with early detection. As advocates of medical cannabis as an alternative health care option, our goal and the focus of our Cannvas.Me online portal is to educate the general public on the benefits of using medical cannabis. I look forward to a successful event and working more with Pancreatic Cancer Canada."This year's event will take place on Saturday, November 24 starting at 7pm at the Phi Centre, a meticulously restored heritage building located at 407 Rue Saint-Pierre in Old Montreal. It will be hosted by Michael Musi, a Montreal-born-and-raised actor who can be found playing Terence on the hit CBC show "Kim's Convenience"."We are grateful for all the support we have received for this year's Lip Sync Battles from Cannvas MedTech and are thrilled to partner with an educational platform that can help provide cancer patients with potential forms of pain relief and management," said Marianne Musi, co-founder, Lip Sync Battles. "Our goal has always been to support Pancreatic Cancer Canada and the greater medical community in their quest to eradicate cancer in all its forms while providing friends and families of pancreatic cancer patients an outlet to have fun, celebrate life and show their love for friends and family."...
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Simplest way to get to the Grey Cup - Paint your face with makeup!
belairdirect challenges Canadian football fans to get "Game Ready" for Grey Cup season with CFL players makeup simplified tutorialsAs an official sponsor of the Canadian Football League (CFL), belairdirect is taking Grey Cup fever to the next level by offering fans the chance to win an experience of a lifetime, with the launch of its Game Ready contest across the country. CFL fans are encouraged to get wild and creative with their face painting skills by submitting their best game-day look to GameReadyContest.ca. The contest runs from October 1 to November 4, 2018."As a proud partner of the CFL, we know that the fans are some of the best in Canada. This is why we're proud to bring to life our partnership with the Game Ready contest and offer fans the opportunity to win the ultimate experience at this year's Grey Cup," said Humberto Valencia, Vice President, Marketing, belairdirect. "At belairdirect, we make things simple. It's at the heart of what we do and the Game Ready contest is an example of how we're breaking away from the traditional sports sponsorship, and bringing the simplicity our customers have come to expect, to the game of football."The winner of the belairdirect Game Ready contest will win an all-inclusive Grey Cup experience valued at approximately $5,000*, which includes two tickets to the 106th Grey Cup Championship in Edmonton, a three-night stay at a hotel, transportation to and from Edmonton, gifts cards and a swag bag full of surprises.Makeup SimplifiedTo help inspire creative game-day face-paint looks, belairdirect partnered with several CFL players as Beauty Gurus to guide fans in Makeup Simplified tutorial parodies, as a way to bring simplicity to the fan regiment. The simplest way to get to the Grey Cup is for fans to paint their face with makeup. Check out the Contest Simplified video including key makeup tips from some fan favourite players.In addition, look out for inspiring and entertaining social media content from the following influencers who will be producing their own game-day face-paint looks:Brodie Lawson, CFL host  Étienne Boulay, Former Montreal Alouettes player and current lifestyle influencer Rick Campanelli, Former ET Canada host and current television and radio personality Rebecca Bollwitt, BC's most award winning lifestyle and travel bloggerFootball SimplifiedSimplicity is at the root of belairdirect's commitment to customers, partnerships and brand promise. The belairdirect Game Ready Contest is just one of the many ways belairdirect is amplifying its Football Simplified campaign, which also includes activations such as a series of makeup tutorials, Insurance Simplified videos, in-stadium booths, broadcast, OOH, and digital.No purchase is necessary. To be eligible to win, entrants must be a legal resident of a province of Canada and have reached the age of majority in their province of residency at their time of entry in the contest. Full contest rules and regulations are outlined on GameReadyContest.ca. The contest is open from October 1 to November 4, 2018.   *Total value of the prize package will vary depending on the travel cost between the winner's place of residence and Edmonton. The odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries received during the contest duration. Entrants must also answer a mathematical skill-testing question to be eligible to win....
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Macron to Become Kit Provider for the Canadian Premier League
The Canadian Premier League (CPL) has signed a long-term deal with Macron, a leader in the international teamwear market. This partnership, negotiated by Canadian Soccer Business (CSB) on behalf of the CPL, will make Macron the official league kit provider beginning with the 2019 CPL season. The deal has the Italian-based company set to supply custom-designed playing kits and training gear for Canadian Premier League clubs; HFX Wanderers FC, York 9 FC, Forge FC, Valour FC, FC Edmonton, Cavalry FC and Pacific FC squad and coaching staff.The first official step in the deal is at the Canadian Premier League #GotGame Open Trials being held across Canada. All players, coaches and staff will be wearing #GotGame branded Macron apparel."We are thrilled that a globally respected soccer brand like Macron has chosen the CPL as their most significant investment to date in North America as this represents a major shift in our market. We have partnered with Macron with the prospect of providing the most innovative soccer apparel for the players at every level of the game in Canada," said CPL Commissioner, David Clanachan. "As our exclusive on-pitch technical apparel provider, Macron will be instrumental in our collective efforts to grow passion for soccer from coast to coast.  We believe fans and players alike will be very pleased with the uniquely designed kits."Macron has a history of creating quality products, providing a high level of service and the ability to interpret the needs of the athletes. Macron is a leader in technical sponsorships within soccer as the official partner of UEFA within the Kit Assistance Scheme. They also provide apparel to five teams across the Serie A, two teams in Champions league and three teams in Europa league as well as a massive presence in La Liga and the EFL. Such Clubs include Bologna FC, Lazio, Sporting Lisbon, Real Sociedad, Nottingham Forest and Stoke City.  "We're very excited about this partnership with the Canadian Premier League," said Macron CEO, Gianluca Pavanello. "We're thrilled to be entering into a market so receptive to soccer, and also because the deal with the CPL allows our team to work on a long-term basis on the development of new collections that we hope the players and fans will wear with pride."Macron designers are working in partnership with all seven CPL clubs, ownership and coaches in the design process of each club kit developing custom uniforms with unique designs having the Canadian Premier League be one of the few leagues that have custom-made kits league-wide. ...
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Ride for Cancer powered by BMO Bank of Montreal hits the road and trail on September 29
On Saturday, September 29, more than 580 riders will embark on an epic journey spanning 160 kilometres from Mahone Bay to Halifax. Ride for Cancer powered by BMO Bank of Montreal is Atlantic Canada's largest one-day fundraising cycling event hosted in partnership by the QEII Foundation and The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada.Interview opportunities with participants: Saturday, September 29 from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m.  LED Roadway Lighting, 115 Chain Lake Drive, Halifax, N.S. (finish line celebration)Since 2015, Ride for Cancer powered by BMO Bank of Montreal has raised over $1.1 million net to advance cancer care for Atlantic Canadians. Funds raised here, stay here, and this year riders will support local cancer care to:build a new world-leading cancer therapy preparation lab at the QEII;deliver life-saving doses faster, doubling capacity and shortening wait times;conduct more clinical trials; andprovide more support programs for patients and their families during the toughest moments of the lives.Riders – completing five distance options via the Rum Runners Trail (25, 50, 75 or 100 kilometres) or via road (100, 130 or 160 kilometres) – volunteers, sponsors, and supporters....
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Das ist gut, Jägermeister is now the ‘official shot’ of the NHL
The National Hockey League (NHL®) and Jägermeister have entered into an agreement in which Jägermeister will become an official partner of the NHL in the U.S with the designation of "official shot of the NHL." As part of the partnership, Jägermeister will create compelling and engaging 360-degree, integrated programs that will be supported across various retail, in-venue and on premise channels as well as consumer activations at the NHL Winter Classic®, the NHL® All-Star Weekend and other NHL marquee events. This collaboration allows consumers and hockey fans alike the opportunity to partake in shared, ice cold moments with premier brand integration and exposure.In addition to Jägermeister's partnership with the NHL, the Dallas Stars, Nashville Predators, Tampa Bay Lightning, Vegas Golden Knights and Washington Capitals will also join the brand's roster of local NHL team sponsorships. Prior to launching a league-wide partnership with the NHL, Jägermeister introduced local partnerships with the Colorado Avalanche and New York Rangers during the 2017-18 season that will continue this season. With this new NHL partnership, Jägermeister strives to find continued success by reaching the NHL's highly-engaged fanbase, further reinforcing that Jägermeister is the go-to shot in sports and big social moments. "At Jägermeister, we strive to engage with our fans in unique ways by offering one-of-a-kind experiences, especially in the sports world," said Chris Peddy, Mast-Jägermeister U.S. Chief Marketing Officer. "As the official ice cold shot of the NHL, our fans will enjoy the ice cold herbal liqueur they love with the unparalleled experience of the NHL." "Jägermeister is an innovative brand that will deliver our fans unique activations at retail and on-premise, as well as through our broadcast and digital channels, ultimately bringing our fans closer to the game," said Jason Jazayeri, NHL Director of Business Development. "We look forward to working with Jägermeister to bring rich and exciting experiences to our fans on and off the ice." As the official shot of the NHL, Jägermeister - the number one imported liqueur - will host a variety of events, media and hospitality programs throughout the 2018-19 NHL season. Jägermeister will return as the presenting sponsor of the Stanley Cup Playoffs Bracket Challenge™, the NHL.com initiative that enables the most passionate fans in sports to predict each and every series of the Playoffs through the Stanley Cup® Final....
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Tim Hortons® And Hockey Canada Partner on Program Supporting Canada's Youngest Players
New partnership will see Tim Hortons® supporting Canada's national teams through exciting events like the IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship and the IIHF Women's World ChampionshipToday, Tim Hortons announced their new partnership with Hockey Canada. The four-year partnership is a natural next step in Tim's long-standing relationship with hockey in Canada.Alongside the partnership, Tim's also announced the title sponsorship of Hockey Canada's Initiation Program. The Tim Hortons Timbits Hockey Canada Initiation Program is the official entry level for hockey in Canada and Tim's support is an ongoing demonstration of the company's commitment to bringing communities together through a shared passion for Canada's favourite sport. Tim's will work with Hockey Canada to support its delivery of the Timbits Initiation Program developing young hockey players in a positive and fun environment in all corners of the country. With our new partnership, Tim Hortons will be supporting over 100,000 children in hockey across Canada.  "This partnership speaks to our intrinsic connection with Canada's game and the foundation of Tim Hortons, beginning with our founder who was an amazing talent in the Restaurant and on the ice," says Jorge Zaidan, Head of Marketing, Tim Hortons Canada. "The relationship with Hockey Canada demonstrates our continued love, passion and commitment to supporting hockey development for the youth at every level, in communities across Canada."The Timbits Initiation Program is a structured, learn-to-play hockey program designed to introduce young players to the game's basic skills in an atmosphere of fun and fair play. It is the basis from which Canadians get their start in hockey by having fun, learning skills, and developing confidence."Much like Hockey Canada, Tim Hortons has built its brand around 'community' and it is community that is at the very heart of our game," said Mike Ross, chief business development officer for Hockey Canada. "The Tim Hortons Timbits Hockey Canada Initiation Program is traditionally a child's first experience in hockey, and we believe in ensuring that is a positive experience that fills young players with confidence and develops their skills so that they can enjoy hockey – regardless of what level they play at – as a life-long sport."  Developed more than 35 years ago, the Timbits Initiation Program is designed for players five and six years old, and it aims to create participants and instructors who will continue in the game by focusing on progressive skill-development and fun."A positive first experience on the ice is so important to growing a love for the sport. I know that's something I've always believed in, having had my start as a Timbits hockey player," says Sidney Crosby, a Timbits Alumnus who has played for Team Canada seven times to-date. "The Tim Hortons Timbits Initiation Program makes sure kids learn basic skills while having  a good time and can go on to playing hockey for years to come."The new partnership with Tim Hortons will also see the organization supporting Canada's national teams, and as an international partner, Tim Hortons will work with Hockey Canada to enhance the fan and volunteer experience through promotions and product at national championships as well as at key international events such as the IIHF World Junior Championship and IIHF Women's World Championship....
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Imagine: it’s 2020, and NASA is about to launch its next robotic rover to Mars. But its name isn’t something simple like Curiosity or Sojourner. Instead, it’s the Michelin Tire Trailblazer, named for the company that bought the mission’s naming rights and the famous Michelin man is adorned on the side of the spacecraft. During the mission, NASA astronauts live stream from space, stopping briefly to regale viewers about the merits of their Breitling watches: “It’s the best way to keep time above the Kármán line.”This is only a hypothetical scenario right now, but it’s in line with concepts that NASA will start exploring over the next few months.In August, NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine told advisers that he is forming a new committee focused on figuring out how NASA can go commercial. The committee, headed by Maxar Technologies’ Mike Gold, will pursue ways NASA could work with advertisers to brand its spacecraft and rockets as well as investigate how astronauts might engage in endorsements and media opportunities — both on and off Earth.One of Bridenstine’s goals is to offset the costs of NASA missions by selling the naming rights of its hardware to private companies. By allowing astronauts to do advertisements like appearing on cereal boxes, such endorsements will help “enhance the exposure of space activities in the popular culture,” according to Gold.“I’m telling you, there is interest in that right now,” Bridenstine said during the meeting of the NASA Advisory Council on August 29th. “The question is: is it possible? And the answer is: I don’t know, but we need somebody to give us advice on whether or not it is.Opening NASA to branding and endorsements would be a major change for the agency, which has been opposed to commercializing its missions. Since its inception, NASA has been restricted from promoting or even appearing to promote commercial products or services. This principle has guided NASA’s operations, influencing how astronauts and officials talk and what kinds of experiments astronauts work on. Changing this policy would seemingly require new legislation from Congress or changes to NASA’s charter.Even worse for the plan’s long-term viability: advertising in space may not be that lucrative. NASA’s budget is limited, but its biggest projects run in the hundreds of millions to billions of dollars. Endorsements would probably offset only a fraction of that. And it seems unlikely that these deals will make the space agency more visible than it already is. In fact, it may be seen as a negative to fans of the agency who see NASA as a refuge from corporate interests.“For better or for worse, one of the things that spaceflight has fostered is the idea of space being something of a pristine atmosphere,” Robert Pearlman, a space historian and founder of the website CollectSpace, tells The Verge. “We leave our problems behind, and for some people, branding has gone overboard here on Earth. That’s one of the objections that might be raised.”NASA has its restrictive policy essentially because it’s a government agency. Government employees are not supposed to endorse or even implythat they are endorsing a product. In fact, NASA has gone to great lengths to dispel any notions that the agency is endorsing something commercial. Since the beginning of the Space Shuttle program, for instance, NASA has been sending M&Ms into space for astronauts. However, rather than refer to them by name, NASA called them “candy-coated chocolates.”In 1985, both Coca-Cola and Pepsi developed special cans that could dispense their beverages in microgravity. NASA agreed to let its astronauts try out the devices, but the agency was reluctant to publicize it. “There was a lot of resistance to even show pictures of that because it would be considered advertising,” Alan Ladwig, a former associate administrator for policy at NASA, tells The Verge.Of course, brands pop up in videos from the International Space Station from time to time. Sharp viewers may spy astronauts using Huggies wipes to wipe down their workstations or bottles of Sriracha to spice up lunchtime. “You’ll see brands, but NASA will never acknowledge them, and no astronaut can say, ‘I really like writing with a Sharpie,’” says Pearlman.NASA astronauts aren’t allowed to accept endorsements while working at the space agency either, and they’re even prohibited from working on certain commercial experiments in space if there’s potential that the experiment will be used for profit someday. And, of course, filming advertisements in space is strictly forbidden for NASA crew members.These restrictions don’t apply to NASA’s international partners, however. Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, for instance, famously sang David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” while on the International Space Station, and he was then able to sell that song — recorded in orbit — on an album when he got back to Earth. Meanwhile, Russian cosmonauts have filmed commercials on the ISS before: cosmonaut Mikhail Tyurin famously hit a golf ball into orbit as part of a paid sponsorship by Element 21, a Canadian golf company. Russia has also beaten the US to selling ad space on its rockets: Pizza Hut reportedly paid Russia $1 million to display a 30-foot logo on one of the country’s Proton rockets. It also sent up a pizza on a Russian resupply mission.NASA has found ways around its own commercial barriers, though. Since NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory is managed through a partnership with Caltech, the university can license and sell the rights of spacecraft to commercial companies. That’s why there were Hot Wheels toys of NASA spacecraft, such as the Sojourner rover back in 1996: Caltech licensed and sold the rights to Mattel. And there have been previous attempts to bring NASA into the world of endorsements, with a big push to do so in the 1990s while Ladwig was at NASA during the Space Shuttle program. Ladwig headed up what was known as the “non-scientific payload program,” which flew just one item: an art project that the NASA astronauts were too embarrassed to photograph.“I think the internal feelings were that this is going to somehow cheapen the agency,” says Ladwig. “Do you want to be like a NASCAR racer? The feeling was that this wasn’t appropriate for a government agency to do.”But that sentiment may be changing. Bridenstine has claimed multiple times that NASA will return to the Moon with the help of commercially made vehicles. NASA is currently working with two major aerospace companies, SpaceX and Boeing, to send astronauts to and from the International Space Station. And the logos of these companies will be emblazoned on the vehicles and rockets that launch crews into space, which was taboo in the early days of NASA.“For years, you would not find commercial logos on NASA spacecraft,” says Pearlman. “The Space Shuttle didn’t have Rockwell’s logo, even though they built it. But in more recent years, we’ve seen SpaceX logos on Dragon, and you’re going to see Boeing logos on Starliner.”Selling advertising space on NASA vehicles and doing endorsements may bring in some cash, too. In 2000, a company called MirCorp made a deal with TV producer Mark Burnett to do a reality game show in which the winner would be sent to the Russian Mir space station. For that, the broadcast rights were around $50 to $60 million, according to Jeff Manber, the former head of MirCrop who is now the CEO of ISS partner Nanoracks. (The show never made it to air.)Manber also coordinated with Russia to do advertisements on Mir, which ran between $500,000 to $1.5 million, he says. The Science and Technology Policy Institute estimated that a commercial space station could generate upward of $100 million in revenue doing media and advertising activities.These are dwarfed, however, by the cost of doing business in space. Operating the ISS costs NASA between $3 to $4 billion annually. It would take hundreds of million-dollar endorsement deals to significantly offset those numbers. Plus, that money probably won’t go straight back to NASA; it’ll likely go back to the Treasury Department, unless Congress says otherwise. “Very few programs where fees are raised — such as licensing fees — few of those fees go straight back to the agencies,” says Mark Harkins, a senior fellow of Georgetown’s Government Affairs Institute. “They tend to go back to the Treasury, and then Congress will oftentimes match the appropriation with the fee that’s being raised. But they’re not required to.”That means NASA may not get the money it raises through these endorsements. NASA can only spend what is appropriated by Congress, so Congress would have to determine how that new money coming in is spent. It could use that money to offset NASA’s budget, or that money could simply be spent on some other government agency. It all depends on how the legislation is written.And the taxpayers that fund NASA may not be very keen on the idea of the agency taking on too many sponsors. Some private companies don’t necessarily want NASA to get into the endorsement game. Many of NASA’s commercial partners strive to land endorsement deals themselves. But Nanoracks’ Manber is worried that advertisers will flock to NASA rather than work with commercial aerospace companies, which need advertising revenue to succeed.“They expect me to say this is fantastic, but there’s a subtlety when we’re looking at private sector development,” says Manber. “We can’t have the government as a competitor.” If the public and private sectors are competing for the same thing, the government can potentially bid lower because it has a guaranteed source of income, Manber says.And that leads to another question: should other government agencies follow a similar path? “If you let NASA do that, where does it stop with government agencies?” asks Ladwig. “Does the DOD start selling logos on its battleships?”NASA is already embedded within the public consciousness. NASA can’t make money off of its own image, but the agency’s well-known Meatball logo can be licensed by commercial companies for use on their own products. That’s why you may have seen it on a friend’s shirt or hat. “When you have NASA logos showing up in The Martian, and First Man coming out in October, and you have a matchbox toy version of NASA’s space exploration vehicle concept as the latest toy car in stores now — all of that was done without changing any regulations,” says Pearlman.NASA’s new committee will determine what, if anything, needs to change. And the new committee headed by Gold will figure out if any legislation is needed. But it’s clear that NASA officials are curious about whether or not the agency could act like a business.“Capitalism works really well here on Earth. There’s no reason we shouldn’t be embracing it in [space],” Gold said at the meeting.Article by Loren Grush as posted on The Verge...
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