How Long Before Ads on Uniforms Make Baseball Players Look Like Nascar Drivers?

Well the Doc opened up the old mailbag today and here’s what poured out.

Dear Dr. Ads,

There I was, minding my own business and tooling around ESPN.com, when I came across Ronald Blum’s Associated Press piece.

Padres 1st MLB team to reach uniform ad deal, with Motorola

NEW YORK (AP) — There will be a new pitch on Major League Baseball fields next season.

The San Diego Padres became the first team to announce a deal for ads on their uniforms, saying Tuesday that patches with a Motorola logo will be worn on the sleeves of their jerseys.

The March 10 memorandum of understanding for a new collective bargaining agreement between MLB and the players’ association gave the 30 teams the right to sell patch ads on uniforms and sticker ads on helmets. The sides adopted an Aug. 6, 2021, proposal by MLB to amend a section of the Official Baseball Rules which states: “No part of the uniform shall include patches or designs relating to commercial advertisement.”

Here’s what MLB is proposing: “Notwithstanding the foregoing or anything else in these rules, a club may license to third-party commercial sponsors the right to place their name, logos and/or marks on the uniform, provided that the patch or design is approved in advance by the Office of the Commissioner after consultation with the players’ association.”

What the hell, Doc – are baseball players as brand billboards the new national pastime?

– Logo NoNo

Dear NoNo,

You’re not the only one exercised about the branding of baseball players, at this letter to the San Diego Union-Tribune attests.

Corporate logos on Padres uniforms are a bad call

Re “Motorola patches to land on Padres jerseys in 2023” (April 19): I had read in the U-T that corporate advertising was going to be allowed on uniforms this year, but as far as this San Diego Padres fan is concerned, adding Motorola’s “batwing” logo to the team’s jersey is in poor taste and just clutters an otherwise classically great uniform.

It’s only a matter of time until the Padres Friar will have a “Support Your Local Developer” stitched onto the back of his robe, and Padres jerseys will look more like pro soccer’s, where the teams’ cities have disappeared and been replaced by only the corporate sponsor(s’) logo(s).

Why Did Josh Mandel Go to Someone Even Less Likable Than Himself for a Senate Primary Endorsement?

Well the Doc opened up the old mailbag today and here’s what poured out.

Dear Dr. Ads,

There I was, minding my own business and reading Punchbowl News AM, when I came across this item.

Well, he doesn’t have Donald Trump’s endorsement, but Josh Mandel has a new spot with Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who urges Ohio voters to send the former Buckeye State treasurer to the Senate. Mandel is seeking the GOP nomination for the Ohio Senate seat. The spot is running statewide.

Wait, what? 

Josh Mandel, a candidate too creepy for Trump, went to Ted Cruz, a politician too creepy for his entire life, for an endorsement?

How does that work, Doc?

– Buckeyed

Dear Buckeyed,

First, let’s establish the mala fides of the fulsome twosome: Here are the search results for Josh Mandel gutter and the search results for Ted Cruz hated.

As for the despicable in support of the deplorable . . .

You might ask, why would Mandel tout an endorsement from a universally reviled politician? This Associated Press piece by Jill Colvin and Julie Carr Smyth might provide a clue.

Josh Mandel runs Ohio GOP Senate campaign ‘through churches’

NORTH OLMSTED, Ohio (AP) — Before digging into his six-egg omelet at a bustling northeast Ohio diner, Republican Senate candidate Josh Mandel stopped to bow his head.

“Bless our food, our time, our conversation, in Jesus’ name,” said Pastor J.C. Church, who joined Mandel after a campaign event at a local church. ”Amen.”

The scene encapsulated Mandel’s campaign strategy as he competes in a crowded field of Republican contenders ahead of Ohio’s May 3 primary. He is a Jewish candidate who makes no secret of his faith, but who is centering his campaign around evangelical churches as he tries to win over religious, conservative voters.

(A six-egg omelet? If that’s not the Christiaan Barnard Special, the Doc doesn’t know what is.)

There’s no doubt Cruz is popular with evangelicals, but Mandel might want to consider a little Cruz control after the Texas solon attacked a high-profile opponent of Florida’s Don’t Say Gay bill on his latest podcast, as the redoubtable Bess Levin detailed in Vanity Fair.

Senator Ted Cruz . . . recently suggested that because Disney decided to speak out against the bigoted Florida legislation—after receiving backlash from its employees for initially refusing to do so—it’s obviously going to introduce NC-17 story lines to its children’s programming.

In an extremely weird set of remarks, even for him, the Texas lawmaker opined at a live recording of his podcast, Verdict With Ted Cruz: “I think there are people who are misguided, trying to drive, you know, Disney stepping in, saying, you know, in every episode now they’re gonna have, you know, Mickey and Pluto going at it. Like, really? It’s just like, come on guys, these are kids, and you know, you could always shift to Cinemax if you want that.

And that’s not even Mandel’s biggest problem. The Cruz endorsement clearly falls within the knife-to-a-gunfight category, as this new spot from opponent JD Vance illustrates.

Donald Trump’s endorsement has helped Vance reopen the money spigots from his sugar daddy, Peter Thiel – the tech  billionaire who bankrolled Vance early, then ghosted him – as Politico’s Alex Isenstadt reported.

Vance parlays Trump endorsement into new Thiel money

Ohio Republican J.D. Vance is cashing in on his endorsement from former President Donald Trump with a major new super PAC donation from billionaire tech investor Peter Thiel.

Thiel has donated $3.5 million to Protect Ohio Values, the super PAC backing Vance, according to a person familiar with the contribution — part of a broader tranche of money that has come in to support the Senate candidate after last week’s Trump endorsement, which shook up a crowded and competitive race for the GOP nomination.

(For those of you keeping score at home, both Vance and Mandel have felt compelled to run ads proclaiming “I’m not a racist,” which pretty much speaks for itself. A third candidate – Cleveland businessman Mike Gibbons – conveniently rounds out the primary’s racism trifecta.)

Here’s where the race stood, according to Real Clear Politics, as of April 14th.

We’ll soon see if a Trump endorsement is the right prescription for getting JD Vance over the hump. The Ohio primary is May 3rd.

What’s Up with the Starbucks Shutdown Ad?

DrAdsforProfileWell the Doc opened up the old mailbag today and here’s what poured out.

Dear Dr. Ads,

I was enjoying a latte at the Coolidge Corner Starbucks and reading the New York Times yesterday when I came across this ad:

Screen Shot 2013-10-12 at 1.37.32 AM

You can imagine my surprise – why is a coffee chain jumping into the chain-gang affairs of Congress? Shouldn’t Starbucks just concentrate on getting my order right?

– Foaming in Beantown

Dear Foaming:

Depends. The more complicated your order is, the less sympathy I have for you.

As for the shutdown ad, the jury’s still out on exactly what the hell Starbucks is doing. An Associated Press report (via the Boston Globe) noted this:

The move is unusual for a company like Starbucks Corp. While big brands generally steer clear of politics to avoid alienating customers, Starbucks and its outspoken chief executive, Howard Schultz, have run toward the spotlight by trying to gain a voice in national political issues.2013-10-10T191143Z_1759122890_TM4E9AA11ZK01_RTRMADP_3_STARBUCKS-SHUTDOWN

But because the company’s efforts are generally nonpartisan and unlikely to cause controversy, marketing and corporate image experts say they burnish Starbucks’ reputation as a socially conscious company.

‘‘It’s always risky when brands mix politics and business,’’ said Allen Adamson, managing director of the New York-based branding firm Landor Associates. ‘‘But the benefit for Starbucks likely outweighs the risk.’’

Not according to The Daily Beast’s Daniel Gross, though.

The Starbucks Shutdown Petition Is Baloney

For the record, I love Starbucks. I’ve got a Starbucks card in my wallet. I regularly wow bystanders by brandishing the Starbucks mobile payment app on my iPhone. At home, I start the day by scooping out a couple of heaping tablespoons of Starbucks espresso roast into my Breville machine.1381508632454.cached

But I was a bit dismayed by this morning’s news that Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz is spearheading a  nonpartisan drive to jolt Washington into action. On the company’s home page there’s a plea to “our leaders in Washington, D.C.” to come together to  reopen the government, pay our debts, and “pass a bipartisan and comprehensive long-term budget deal by the end of the year.”

That isn’t doppio. It’s dopey-yo.

Whatever that means. But here’s Gross’s point, doppio or not:

Why is this annoying? Look, it isn’t D.C. leaders who have shut down the government and refuse to open it. It isn’t Washington that is blithely threatening not to meet our collective financial obligations. And it isn’t D.C. leaders who are refusing to enter negotiations about a longer-term budget deal. Rather, it’s Republicans behind all three.

So, presumably, all the barista-beholden should be steaming about the GOP, not the Democrats.

Time for a coffee break, yeah?

Yo.