It's hardly an original observation that the World Cup (and all other major sporting events) have become grossly over-commercialised. Companies want to get involved in every way possible to promote themselves in a saturated media environment. But it slightly suprises even myself just how far it's going these days. Not just sponsorships - although currently in Australia you can even purchase official Socceroos deodorant in a green and gold can. But every media outlet is getting on board these days - from travel shows and foreign affairs programs with profiles on the countries involved, through to every news outlet carrying special reports - even though if you actually talk to people, alot of them really don't care. And of course, there are lots and lots of World Cup blogs. I'm not saying these people are insincere - and if anyone thinks I'm just riding the Socceroos hype on this blog right now, I have honestly followed football for years, and I can produce witnesses.
But it seems everyone wants their piece of the action, no matter how tangentially connected to any of it they are. There's a local paint shop which is running ads at the moment emblazoned with green and gold and the message "Come on Australia!" Their current promotion is that if you buy two 4L tins of paint, you'll receive a free gold football.
The football has nothing to do with FIFA, the FFA, the Socceroos or the World Cup. It actually has the paint company's own logo stamped on it. The ad doesn't mention football or the team at all, just alludes to it. There's no accreditation or connection here whatsoever. So who the heck is meant to be interested? What does a paint company have to do with football anyway? Nothing, of course. But I guess they figured they don't have to shell out for a sponsorship deal if they can grap a tiny glimmer of the reflected glory for free.
And that is why I think it's all going too far these days.
Sorry to go off-topic, but I just have to add one more item to my list of people I hate, because it's something that exercises me inordinatley: People who misuse the term "literally" to emphasise their point.
Recently I heard someone say that they are "literally a sitting duck at work".
My first reaction was to reply "Really? So it's an actual fact that you have a bill, and webbed feet, and are in a reclining position?" But of course I didn't say that. I'd be regarded with resentment by the person who said it, and as a smart ass by everyone else in earshot. People don't like it when you point out their mistakes. I don't know. Sometimes I think if people don't like being corrected, they should... stop being wrong!