Forget the jersey, let’s talk about a FedEx Holiday

17 02 2009

As you probably know, I love highlighting unique cases of public relations where public interest and opinion clash with corporate agenda.

I found one such example browsing sports news this morning. In an unprecedented display of love for a Fortune 500 company, Memphis opted out of flying the corporate colors of FedEx on a special FedEx appreciation night. Apparently, the jersey (pictured below), would cause a local and national enrage about capitalism gone awry…

Well, I say, what’s worse? Displaying the corporate colors or dedicating an night to “appreciate FedEx”? I mean, isn’t it bad enough that FedEx has now become a verb for sending package (even when we plan on sending it via UPS)? Why aren’t we talking about turning a non-commercial basketball exhibition into a corporate-endorsed activity? Euro jerseys don corporate emblems, and NASCAR drivers are ad incarnates for their sponsors. I guess if you consider this is an NCAA-no-corporate-endorsements-allowed event, then you can say otherwise…

But at issue here, says I, is why aren’t we questioning FedEx Appreciation night? Maybe it’s a matter of diverting attention with this about-face on using the corporate colors on the jersey. You may disagree with me, but backing off on using the corporate colors sure looks like they’re diverting attention, and it seems like the type of stuff that gets PR practitioners derided rather than praised…

Advertisements