Posts Tagged ‘Dan Kaplan’

Car-pe Sta-diem

Thursday, November 21st, 2013

Sports and sporting events have been a part of human civilization from the very beginning. Sport core values lay in the need for survival of our species. However, now that humans have obviously ensured their stay on this planet, why do sports still encompass such a large part of society? Now, it is not being suggested that we should denounce sports and leave them in the pages of history, but do we really need to continue to allocate such a vast amount of our resources towards them? Sports stadiums may provide one of the best examples of how distorted our priorities as a society are. According to Aaron Gordon of the Pacific Standard,

“Over the past 20 years, 101 new sports facilities have been opened in the United States, “

He goes on by saying,

“The average public cost for a sports facility at the end of the 2000’s is 241 million.”

I’ll let you do the math, but this is an enormous  number. A monetary number that could go towards public schooling, infrastructure, medical advancement, or all three. The Constitution, referenced in chapter 17,  states that public sports organizations have to comply with several requirements in the management of their business activities. So why isn’t the public’s voice being heard? In the article, proof is shown that the people don’t always vote for increasing taxes to fund a new stadium, yet stadiums continue to be built using the peoples tax money.

“The problem becomes unsolvable when voters rarely get to actually vote on the issue and when they vote “no” the stadiums get built anyway.”

The first photo is a stadium for the Carolina Panthers that want $200 million in public funding to renovate their stadium and the second photo is in Chester, Pennsylvania which was referenced in the article.  The total cost of the stadium in Chester was $117 million and 97% of the funding is coming from the people who live there.

Bank of America Stadiumpennsylvania stadium


What’s Really Going On Under the Armor?

Tuesday, November 12th, 2013

The sports organization, Under Armor, endorses professional athletes to wear and promote their products. These athletes often choose to tweet pictures of themselves wearing their companies product. This is a very smart and “seemingly” passive way to promote a business, however, sometimes it can cause obvious backlash.

In the case of Bryce Harper, the truth behind the importance and stringency of his endorsement with Under Armor became apparent, when he accidentally took a picture of himself wearing Nike shorts while undergoing physical rehabilitation.  Minutes after taking the picture, it was deleted and a new picture of him completely saturated in Under Armor apparel surfaced. His tweet was exactly the same as the deleted one, word for word, the only difference was the switch in clothing. This goes to show that athletes that are endorsed by a company are under large amounts of pressure to not only wear their product, but also not wear products from other companies.  The following link is the article in question:

Under Armor’s tactics for endorsing a professional athlete like Bryce Harper are to probably to appeal to the baseball following population demographic and to create exposure for the brand by using an athletic role model that embodies qualities that are important to the company.  According to an article, How to Choose the Right Athlete to Endorse Your Brand, this question is addressed in the following quote:

“Sports athletes and celebrities draw huge attention from corporate sponsors and  media as they appeal to many demographics. An athlete endorsing a product can  transform a brand…Initially the endorsement creates exposure for the brand.”

The article addresses what companies like Under Armor hope to achieve by endorsing athletes and it looks something like this:

“recognition, consideration, favorability, loyalty and ultimately to increased sales of a product.”

The article that addresses finding the right athlete to endorse your brand can be reached in the link below:

Other ways that Under Armor could use nontraditional forms of communication to achieve their purposes would be through facebook or blogs posted by athletes who endorse their products with keyword hashtags, for example, #baseball and #underarmor.  Under Armor may find other avenues to create brand exposure without blunders from endorsed athletes by exploring new modes of communication.



We Have A Sochiation People…

Wednesday, November 6th, 2013

There is no questioning the fact that the city of Sochi, along with the Russian government, carry a sizable load on their shoulders in regards to their goals for sustainability of the 2014 Winter Olympics. There are numerous aspects, all of which must be dealt with in the most delicate of ways. Though all of them pose as excellent topics for debate, for time’s sake, only a few of the more prominent subjects will be covered.

When taking on the task of brining the entire world together, I think some environmental impact is unavoidable. If an area has decided to house representatives from around the world, there will obviously have to be some urban expansion. However, if urban expansion is necessary, it would be in everybody’s best interest to go about it in a sustainable way. This way, people don’t make the Olympics a martyr for environmental and cultural degradation.

After browsing the Sochi 2014 website, I definitely left with an optimistic outlook. Initially it looked like they might be in over their heads, but they have some good ideas that may actually work. Holding a competition for the all the companies involved that coaxes them to be as sustainable as possible with the construction of the the Olympic grounds, is as good an idea as it gets. Why limit the competition solely to the athletes?

Also, it obviously is good for the local economy and will provide many jobs for the building and maintenance of the grounds. It is crucial however, that they hire local workers and companies for this project. It is also important that they not displace lower income families from the area due to its increased prestige. These aspects are important things to consider because after the Olympics are over, the people of Sochi aren’t going to want to use the facilities if there is an underlying resentment towards the grounds.

Lastly, being aware of culture and diversity is the most fundamental part of the Olympics. Without culture and diversity there would be no Olympics. It is the essence that created the games, and must be respected on all fronts. Though certain populations may not agree with and appreciate some of Russia’s laws and values and Russia may not be respecting other cultural values, it is important that we show respect in their country, so we may receive the same in return. After all, it’s only two weeks, it’s nothing permanent.

Sochi and all the worlds Olympic athletes have hard times ahead in regards to sustainably handling the Olympics. However, these hardships are a necessity for the continuation of one of the greatest events in history. An event that reminds us, we are all explorers of the same planet.

Will That Be Cash or Callousness?

Monday, October 28th, 2013

This is a difficult issue. When initially looked at, it would seem to be a win/lose situation for either parties. On one side of the spectrum, if Sondra can’t afford the fee, her kids lose out but the Rec. Center doesn’t take a financial hit or instigate PR issues. However, on the other side, if the Rec. Center allows the kids to play, it will benefit the family but concurrently increase the centers financial strain and generate PR issues with other families who want equal treatment. Additionally, if the Rec. Center doesn’t charge fees to make money, they can’t continue the programs and everyone loses out. So the question is posed, should kids suffer and lose out on opportunity, just because they don’t have money or should Rec. Centers allow fiscally strained kids to play, but take a hit in both the financial and PR departments?

Along with the family and the center’s director, one other group should be considered in this situation. All the other families of the sports program should be consulted. If they are informed to the state of Sondra’s family, perhaps they could help her or at least try and understand the problem. The director could ask all the people involved, and see if they wouldn’t mind that Sondra’s kids play for free or ask for financial help from families that can afford it. Another option could be that Sondra performs some community service within the sports program in return for letting her children play.

The common good approach would be the best way to confront this situation. This issue deals with a community program, so it should be looked at as a communal effort. Everyone’s actions benefit the whole.



Friday, October 25th, 2013

When discussing the issue of lowering the GPA requirements for student athletes and whether or not it hurts them, there are a few factors that need to be addressed. The first is question is, does it actually hurt the students? And secondly, how does it affect the school?

As far as the students go, I don’t think their GPA holds any real weight as far as their intelligence/ success goes. To me all it says is that they can take orders and regurgitate information. A good GPA only means that yes, I am a perfect candidate for you to shape and mold into what society wants. Now I’m not saying that is a bad thing. A good GPA is really helpful, and students should take pride in the fact that they can excel above others in certain subjects. However, they should apply that pride and knowledge towards helping others, instead of being egocentric and victimizing themselves. Just cause a student athlete doesn’t have a good GPA doesn’t mean he/ she is a slacker and hasn’t worked hard, they just don’t learn in the “standard” way.

Now as far as schools go, lowering the GPA standards may cause them to lose government funding which can cause issues, but that presents an entirely different ethical issue. How should we feel about the government and our economy if all they want is people who can learn “their way?”