Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Who was playing, mockingly asked many a critic, pointing at the adds on team’s jerseys.
Second row,left to right: Tresor, Franceschetti, V Zwunka, Carnus, Lopez JP, BosquierFirst row: Magnusson, Buigues, Skoblar, Keruzore, Kuszowski
Olympique Marseille or Michel Axel?
Advertising was nothing new to football, but so far had been reserved for billboards – permanent or temporary – on the stadiums. Adds on jerseys was felt to be too much, too commercial. It was weaker championships at first, so there was some justification for them – what else to do clubs not exactly getting big gates in France, Austria, Belgium? Only the pragmatic Germans introduced shirt adds from the big football countries at first, but by the end of the 1970s everybody was doing it and grumble increased. It was felt football clubs were becoming secondary appendages to commercial giants. Not football, but increasing sales of products was the priority.
At the end, an absurd conclusion was synthesized: Commercialization was killing football, but in order to survive, football needed commercialization.