Here’s what’s on my mind today. Do I ever need a professional sportsperson? What a strange question you might say, but think about it for a bit. Have you ever had the need for a professional sportsman? Almost certainly, the answer is no, but then why do they get paid so much? The answer is easy (I think).
It is easy to see that we often have real needs for farmers, doctors, craftsman, teachers, labourers and technicians (to name a few), but we almost never had a real need for professional sportspeople, actors, supermodels and celebrities. If the above is true, why do we pay the people we don’t really need so much? Why is it that farmers, craftsman and labourers often struggle to get by while professional sportspeople get paid more than they actually need for several lifetimes? This seems like a sign that we’re not living life in the right direction.
The source of the problem is money – the artificially invented currency that is some sort of proxy for our ability to provide worth or our personal importance. Money if the start of the problem as it makes people want to acquire it in any way they can. It’s easy to see that the idea of money was useful when you traded something or some service with someone, but they couldn’t repay or trade with you straight away. Instead, they could give a commitment to trade or provide an equivalent service in the future through an undertaking on paper. This then evolved to providing a general undertaking that could be passed on to other individuals, and became the anonymous paper of value that we call money today.
The problem is that today, the aim is just to acquire money because it makes you powerful. Even if you’re a nasty, lying tyrant, you’re considered important and powerful if you have a lot of money. That should never be the case.
There are lots of companies in the world that produce unnecessary and often poor, damaging products, but they manage to sell them because of very effective advertising and marketing. They do this purely because their aim is to “make” money. In a way, these companies are like that nasty, lying tyrant and one of the most effective ways to to lie to you and take your money from you is to mislead you, lie to you and brainwash you through advertising.
John Wanamaker (1838-1922) is credited with the saying “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half”.
Advertising works. If it didn’t companies wouldn’t spend so much money on it. Advertising brainwashes you even if you don’t know it. If it didn’t companies wouldn’t spend so much money on it. The big companies know that the more they spend on advertising, the more their sales increase. It works, and we fall for it.
Now, why do professional sportspeople get paid so much? It’s all about advertising. It’s all about selling stuff to us that we don’t even need, because that’s how big companies “make” money. When you watch a sporting event there is advertising all over the players clothes, there are advertising boards all around the stands, there is advertising on the TV screen, it’s everywhere. We’re not watching sport. Sport is just the lure that has been used to make us subliminally absorb the advertising.
We’ve lost the true sense of ourselves when we allow ourselves to be surrounded by corporate advertising and to have reached the point where we think this is ok and normal. We need to reclaim who we are and ignore these things.
What if sport was played by the best players because they love it? What if sports players were paid simple, fair salaries based on payments made by people who like to watch the games? What if corporate advertising was banned from sport? Would the world be better or worse? I’d say, almost definitely better.
We may not really need a professional sportsperson, but it can still be fun to watch good sporting contests played by the best players. We don’t need corporations to muscle in and make it an advertising orgy. That’s where we are today and we don’t notice it, or we don’t care. If the salaries of the players were normal and funded by the attendance of the public, the game would be just as enjoyable.
Have a different opinion? Please leave a comment below. Thanks.
Related Links – Do you ever need a professional sportsperson?
- From Sports On Earth – THE ADVERTISING FOOTBALL LEAGUE
- From Advertising Association – HOW DOES ADVERTISING WORK?
- Anti-Consumerism – is it time for a new direction?
- Don’t buy any food that needs advertising
Gloria Whiting says
Totally agree – a subject very close to my heart, as Peter knows. I read recently that people were generally happier during the 2nd World War than they are now. Just think about it ……. and it starts to make sense. They were just grateful to be alive and weren’t judged by whether they were wearing the right designer label or driving the right kind of car. And farmers were valued and respected for their great contribution.