By Oscar Chemiak
What's up with seeing a corporate
logo every time you turn the corner in a school hallway? It's
simple. Reduced dollars for public education means that schools
are scrambling to find new sources of income. Corporate sponsors
seem like the answer, or are they?
On the surface, it looks harmless enough. Schools need money
and corporations benefit by appearing to be partners in the
education process. It isn't all as nice as it may appear
though; they're businesses after all.
Sponsored arrangements have the same kind of restrictions
one would expect in a contract situation, which means there
is no room for free choice. Sponsors won't look the
other way should you want to provide your student body another
option, whether it's different beverages or a scoreboard
that isn't plastered with a corporate logo. While there
are associations now forming to create a generic logo to be
used in sponsorship arrangements, there are still a huge number
of students and parents being brought into the commercial
fold by buying the sponsor's products either through
limited options or by simply being submerged in the corporate
culture until buying the product seem like the 'right'
thing to do.
Extensive marketing studies have shown that consumers develop
loyalty to a product through repeated exposure; people tend
to want to be part of a larger group; consumers feel obligated
to buy if they feel they've been 'given'
something (think about all those samples that are handed out).
Talk about a recipe for success when it comes to school sponsorships!
How could most corporations resist when they have hundreds
of captive consumers both present and future in the parents
What's the answer to this situation? More publicly funded
money for education. What's the chance of this happening?
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