From the Washington Post:
Lance Armstrong will pay $5 million to the federal government to settle a fraud lawsuit that contended he owed $100 million to taxpayers for doping while competing for a cycling team sponsored by the U.S. Postal Service….
The government alleged that Armstrong’s doping and violation of the rules of his sport nullified his value to the Postal Service brand. Armstrong countered that he had delivered tens of millions dollars more in promotional benefits during his historic championship run than what the Postal Service had paid out.
In all the USPS paid Armstrong’s team over $32 million to wear its Express Delivery logo between 2000 and 2004. I understand that the post office has to compete against FedEx and UPS, but is there anyone who saw clips of Armstrong wearing that logo in the Tour de France or any other cycling event and was convinced to use that delivery service the next time they sent a package?
I wonder the same thing about all those advertiser logos on NASCAR vehicles. The ones on the hood and the rear bumper get some airtime because of the camera angles, but does anyone decide to alter their purchases because of them — let alone the smaller ones tucked next to the wheel wells? The same goes for ads placed on the boards around an NHL rink, or in the dugout of an MLB game.
Is a company’s name and graphic enough to change minds? I suppose there must be research that says those sponsorships are effective, in that they return more dollars than are spent, but I don’t understand why. And I certainly don’t recall the USPS announcing that it had its best years ever because so many more people used Express Delivery during the time its logo was on Armstrong’s performance-enhanced chest.