Athlete Actions Feed the Sponsorship Stereotype

One action served as a good example of why two stereotypes currently plague the world of sports sponsorship. As the public continues to criticize public companies for frivolous spending during a recession and the people cringe at the ever escalating salaries of athletes in walks Vijay Singh sporting his Stanford Financial sponsored apparel.

The same Stanford Financial wrangled in Federal case into a Ponzi scheme run by its leader. Ironically, the same day articles about Allen Stanford’s trial ran prominently in the Wall Street Journal.

It shows poor judgment by Singh and his representation. By adorning Stanford gear he is essentially advocating the brand and associating himself with the company – one that lied to customers and lost lots of money for lots of people. In fact, the very $8m paid to Singh to sport the company logo could have come from this fraudulent activity. Does Vijay Singh advocate how Stanford runs its business? I have a hard time believing otherwise considering he is well aware of the news and still wears it.

Earlier this year, Stanford pulled its sponsorship of an LPGA tournament, so why is the company allowing Singh to flaunt its logo during what should be dark days for the firm. It’s not the time to build brand awareness or try to repair public perception. I’m sure lawyers and agents can work out a deal to get Singh the money he’s owed and prevent him from this negative association.

Thoughtless actions like this are what increases public outcry against sponsorships and pressure companies to avoid sports sponsorships. Athletes should act more responsible. Companies should step in and control the situation more. One negative action like this can damage the efforts of everyone else trying to make good.