Sponsorship: beware of killing the goose that lays the golden egg

On Saturday I watched one of soccer’s great events, the European Cup final, which, as countless TV ads told me, was not so much football but an opportunity to Witness History with Mastercard.

In today’s Times is an advertisement for one of England’s top horse-races – the Derby. Or rather, as the ad put it, for the Investec Derby Festival, Horseracing’s Jewel in the Crown, Proud to be Part of the Diamond Jubilee’s Celebrations.

A glamorous female dominated the ad. No sign of a horse. Investec’s name appeared 15 times, Derby three times.

Sponsors should be careful not to wreck the popular culture at the heart of what they put their money into. Hyperbole, greed and commercialism may pile up the money. But it could end up killing the goose.

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