Process this: The "Intel Inside" logo has made its way inside the jerseys of Spanish soccer team FC Barcelona in a reported five-year, $25 million deal.
The emblem is visible only when players pull their shirts up over their heads, which they've been known to do when celebrating a goooaaal! Intel vp of sponsorship David Haroldsen says the placement "authentically tells the story of who we are rather than just being another brand that is visible with all the other logos that exist. We believed we would have more value with the symbolic placement with occasional pop-up moments within the game."
Fair enough. Cool concept. Still, I wonder … doesn't this send a tacit message that big corporate bucks are all that's "inside" these players, driving them like robots of commerce? Aren't champions supposed to be motivated by something more, like their fierce love of the game and burning desire to win? Doesn't that competitive heart, beating deep inside, truly make a great team tick?
And when Santa Claus comes to my house next week, will he bring the Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy along for the ride?