Talking Points: Military sponsorship in NASCAR complex
Monday, July 16, 2012
What's the buzz from the world of sports? Here are some items that will have people talking:
The whole point of spending money on advertising is the generation of results.
For most of the entities that purchase advertising, the result is financial. The effectiveness of the advertising is weighed against the cash flow it generates to determine if the expenditure is warranted.
But when the results are something other than financial, it seems easy to knock the expenditure as wasting money. Particularly when that money is taxpayer money, and those looking at the expenditure are politicians.
The U.S. Army has already decided to ends its association with Stewart-Haas Racing after the season, a move described by driver Ryan Newman as "true politics."
Maybe. Maybe not.
It seems as if sponsoring motorsports is an effective way to get the military's "brand name" out there -- although putting it that way seems a tad tasteless. It also gives fans an opportunity to show support for the military.
Talking Points isn't smart enough to figure out if the U.S. Armed Forces are generating enlistments -- or even interest in possible enlistments -- through advertising in NASCAR. But it seems equally simplistic to look at dropping the advertising as just an easy $80 million cut of the defense budget.
Or, as retired Maj. Gen. Gus L. Hargett Jr. -- the president of the National Guard Association of the United States -- said: "On the surface, this may seem like a good idea in the face of current fiscal challenges. But a closer look reveals that such a ban would provide no real savings and only serve to hinder Defense Department efforts to reach the most qualified potential recruits."
Nobody likes to be the victim of a luggage mix-up when traveling.
The prospect is particularly frightening for Olympic athletes traveling with some extremely important objects necessary to their competition.
Today is crunch time for Olympic arrivals at London's Heathrow airport -- the busiest in Europe -- because this is the day the Athletes Village opens at London's Olympic Park.
Officials at Heathrow are well aware that losing or breaking the bags of high-profile athletes could be a public relations disaster, and they have geared up to ensure that doesn't happen.
"We are expecting a lot of teams and a lot of bags," acknowledged Nick Cole, who heads the Olympic project for Heathrow. "We are going to be on show on Monday."
The airport usually handles 100,000 to 110,000 arrivals a day, but that will swell to 120,000 today, many of them Olympic VIPs.