Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Whoring You Out - On Your Frontside and Backside To Boot!

Your backside is no longer your own. You must do with it what your new pimp tells you to do...that is...if you wish to work the turf that the National Football League owns. You wanna turn a trick on the sidelines of a game? You gotta give your due to your overlord.

Even The Wall Street Journal refers to them as "overlords" in their latest article from yesterday, Sports Leagues Impose More Rules on Coverage, starting the article "The overlords of big-time sports and reporters have battled for nearly as long as they've needed each other. In 1938, baseball's Pittsburgh Pirates successfully sued a radio station that placed staffers outside Forbes Field to peek in and broadcast an unauthorized play-by-play of a game. For all the tension, the two sides had a symbiotic relationship. Publicity sold tickets and access sold papers and boosted ratings."

The article goes on to report "But some of the NFL's other actions have horrified Alex Marvez, president of the Pro Football Writers Association and a South Florida Sun-Sentinel reporter. He winces at the new rule requiring photographers to wear red vests with small Canon and Reebok logos. Mr. Marvez calls the idea of using working press members as advertising vehicles "really alarming." Neither company is paying a specific fee for the vests, but Canon Inc. is an official sponsor of the league (it pays a rights fee to be associated with the NFL) and Reebok International Ltd., owned by Adidas AG, is a league licensee (it makes merchandise with NFL logos, including jerseys, pants and photo vests)." (as shown above left).

While it may be that - for now - most sideline photographers are Canon photographers, and were I a Nikon photographer that had a sponsorship deal with Nikon (and those photographers do exist) I'd be all but certain that their deal precludes them from using or wearing competitors' logos. Nikon honored George Tiedemann, and they also honored Dave Black a few years ago, both highly regarded and respected sports photographers. While I don't know if they have deals, there are definitively esteemed sports photographers that shoot Nikon.

To the left is the sidelines at a recent MLB game that I made. Aside from seeing the horrible yellow, what I see is where sports marketing person could say, during the game when touring a potential sponsor - "See all those blank yellow vests down there. That blank space could be instead have your logo, we make them wear those....". Well, now, sections of the vest have sponsor logos. Soon, each vest could well look like a NASCAR car, with major and minor logos. I see atleast two photographers with Nikon gear, just on this side of the field.

Our friends over a Sportshooter are chiming in, as has the NPPA.. If you thought you, as a sports photographer, were not a part of the money making machine, and somehow immune from it, or otherwise a dignified member of the news media, think again. Next it will be sheer pantyhose and daisy-dukes to take your respect down a notch.


Please post your comments by clicking the link below. If you've got questions, please pose them in our Photo Business Forum Flickr Group Discussion Threads.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Another photojournalist problem, and why should I care ?

You know that the news media will drop to their knees and cowtow to all of the demands that these sports leagues demand. This is nothing new, as a matter of fact this has been going on for years and this will continue to go on forever.

The media wants to sell it's product, these photos help attain that goal, but the suits got greedy, and the sports leagues put up with the whining from the media because they needed to sell tickets. But now the sports leagues have found out that they can finally cut out the "middleman"(our friends in the media) and can get photographers and video to do their own coverage and use that as a profit making venture.

Do you for one second think that the leagues care if their coverage shows one point of view and that view is their own? Do you think that the fans care if the coverage is biased?

If the leagues can get their own people, some of which will do photos and video for SPEC or less, while being able to make a profit off the product; that they care about one sided coverage.

I think not.

The league knows that the product is valuable, so valuable in fact that photojournalists are willing to give freely of their own time to make photos that they sign away rights to, just to tell their friends and family that they were there. They also get a really neat credential as a parting gift suitable for framing, bragging rights or both.

So, for you high and mighty photojournalists; you can thank your SPEC shooting colleagues for paving the way to your outsourcing. Get a couple of how-to-wedding shooting books and maybe you can continue to ruin that part of the business.

Barry Allen said...

I am a Nikon shooter and I would not wear canon vest unles they paid me my fee to be aa billboard. and if they made me I would get the biggest Nikon strap I could find and put it on my camrea . nnobody tells me what to wear. not evgen the NFL
Photo's bt Barry A

Anonymous said...

If this goes through. Everyone should wear Nikon ballcaps and Nike tennis shoes for the first game of the season. Or better yet, wear the corporate vests with nothing else except a pair of sneaks. Do the rules say you have to wear pants?

I sure hope the NPPA steps up here and makes a big stink. That's why I pay them $125 a year.

Nobody professional actually shoots Nikon anymore, do they? :)))

Anonymous said...

I'm a wedding photographer. I WANT SPONSORSHIP, too!

Anonymous said...

can I add my own stickers to this? Since I am balding, I was going to rent out the top of my head with henna tatto for advert... If we can't fight it, then lets embrace it so far and fast beyond what they expected. I like the idea of Nikon caps, shirts, Nike shoes, etc. lets do it.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

(number one in thread)

This guy (I assume it is a guy by the writing style) sure is an opinionated s.o.b.

Same message over and over again. I think he is too chicken-#@*^ to put his real name to his cowardly posts.

Sorry, John, but this poster just pisses me off.

David Vesto said...

Who the hell is this idiot with his rants about photo-journalism?

Christian Luis said...

Anonymous said...

"So, for you high and mighty photojournalists; you can thank your SPEC shooting colleagues for paving the way to your outsourcing. Get a couple of how-to-wedding shooting books and maybe you can continue to ruin that part of the business."

Someone needs to get a life.

Anonymous said...

Rebuttal.......

(number one in thread)

"This guy (I assume it is a guy by the writing style) sure is an opinionated s.o.b."

What difference does it make? My opinion is my opinion; I do have the right to give my opinion; The Bill of Rights allows me that freedom irregardless of what you think/feel.

"Same message over and over again. I think he is too chicken-#@*^ to put his real name to his cowardly posts."

In the same forthright way that you put your name on your rant? I guess you were going to sign, but at the last minute you forgot. Please spare me the "Holier Than Thou" finger-pointing and add to this discussion.

"Sorry, John, but this poster just pisses me off."

I guess that you live in your own perfect world where it's not OK to disagree with you; sorry sport welcome to the Internet.

Once you get over personally attacking me; maybe you should read what Ed Greenberg has to say from Friday's blog entry called "Unvarnished Reality". Then you might understand a bit more about where I'm coming from with my opinionated posts.

I look foward to expanding our dialogue and you signing your posts.

Mario Pellico said...

OK - now sign yours.

Carol Kauffman said...

http://news.com.com/8301-10784_3-9748139-7.html?tag=recentPosts

Article about how photographers are responding to the new policy. Not a pretty picture.

C.J. Camp said...

If the NFL wants to provide me with a Canon kit for free....well then, maybe we can talk.

Anonymous said...

^^ nice blog!! ^@^

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