Rum and Baseball: An Ad Campaign Made in Hell

Justice HillCorrespondent IMay 28, 2010

LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 25:  Captain Morgan attends the game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Cleveland Cavaliers at Staples Center on December 25, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images)
Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images

Everything in sports carries a price.

Apparently integrity, too, can be bought and sold cheaply like an ’84 Escort with bald tires and 540,301 miles.

Think this is hyperbole? Think anew.

Look at what Major League Baseball is doing these days. Yes, the sport might be crying for additional revenue streams, but its situation differs not one bit from the economic straits thousands of American families find themselves in—but would they pimp their first born for a few dollars more?

Oh, but baseball would.

Calling all captains!

Baseball has teamed with Captain Morgan, the makers of a popular brand of rum, in a promotion called “The First Pitch.” The swashbuckling mascot for the British rum maker is hitting Major League ballparks across the United States this season and throwing out the first pitch. 

What the captain is also doing is exposing youngsters to an image, fostering an attachment to the rum brand that will carry over into their later years. Smart move for Captain Morgan, but isn’t this akin to having the Marlboro Man leading a high school pep rally?

Doesn’t this send a conflicting message to youth?