Aug 25, 2011 at 01:42 PM
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Newspaper Starts Blurring Sponsor Signage in Sports Photos

Most newspapers want to report on the world around them. One German daily newspaper wants to edit it. Having peculiarly taken an unusual and extreme position on the commercialization of sports, Die tageszeitung (“The daily newspaper” commonly referred to as taz) has decided to blur out sponsorship logos in its sports photos. While it might seem crazy, consider that broadcast partners now have the ability to replace in-stadium sponsor assets with their own virtual signage inventory and you can see where this has the potential to go.

The two week trial program will attempt to remove all sponsor logos from F1 and soccer photos.

"We're trying to show a way where we can still convey the message in the sports picture but get away from the sponsors' logo and the intense advertising," Steffen Grimberg of the paper said in a recent interview.

In photographs of a recent post-game press conference, the paper changed all the sponsor logos on a press backdrop to the paper's own Taz logo. Making this story even more bizarre is the fact that the paper has a marketing partnership with a local German football club, SV Babelsberg. Grimberg said they wouldn't hesitate to edit out their own logo.

"We draw a very distinct line between what the company is doing, what our marketing folks are doing and what we are doing editorially," Grimberg said. "So it may be that folks at SV Babelsberg are carrying proudly - hopefully - the TAZ logo on their equipment and on their sports gear, but that doesn't prevent us in editorial from doing the opposite thing and telling people that we feel this has gotten out of hand."

Presumably editorial wouldn't appreciate when/if rights-holders start revoking the paper's press credentials. Nonetheless, he says, the reader reaction is 'overtly positive.' If this is indeed true, it's scary stuff. On the upside, as some of you have commented, stories like this may cause some brands to think more creatively about in-stadium assets, which never hurt anyone.

Read more from Deutsche Welle here >>