FURTHERMORE GETS A SPONSORSHIP
The large truck blocking the road in front of me on my way to lodge the
other night was owned by Arrowhead, purveyors of bottled water. A sign on
the back of the truck—the only reading I had available at the moment—proudly
declared that Arrowhead Water is the Official Water of the Phoenix Suns, a
professional (much of the time) basketball team.
I'm so happy for them.
The key words in today’s lesson, Brothers, are “endorsements” and
“sponsorships.” Can you say endorsements and sponsorships? They’re long
words. Try something shorter. Like “Who cares?”
‘Fess up now. Have you ever even once bought Arrowhead Water—a good
product sold by nice folks (my lawyer says I should say that)—because Jason
Kidd and his buddies on the Suns drink it? Do you really believe they do
drink it? Do you think Suns owner Jerry Coangelo drinks it? Sorry. What they
really drink is another issue all together. So let’s not digress.
Endorsements are the way of things today. Everybody is scrambling to get
someone else to praise their product. Sometimes, the results are
ridiculous. For example, did you know that Home Depot was the official
hardware store of the Olympic Games? Yup. They were. And because of their
Olympic endorsement, I went right out and purchased enough plywood in 4 by
8-foot sheets to build a two-story house. Just kidding. I didn’t buy a
thing from Home Depot. Instead, I went to Home Base, a competitor, which is
closer and had better prices on what I wanted to purchase.
Even sillier was the fact the Olympics had endorsed an official beer. Now
there’s a mixed message, kids.
Celebrity endorsements are also a bit insane. Let’s see. I should use this
product because actor Harrison Ford or sports figure Dennis Rodman think
it’s just swell. I should jump over a cliff because actor Sly Stallone does
it. Or Michael Jordan. Well, he may be the exception. Michael is like the
King of Endorsements. If he says Nike is way cool or Wheaties are beyond
great, you better believe him. He probably owns both companies by now.
Event sponsorships are just about as bad—and a lot more irritating. Just
try watching a single sports event. The sport doesn’t make a difference.
The hitter slams one over the wall. The announcer says, “And now, here’s our
America West How Far Did It Fly report” and says it was a 382-foot homer.
This would have much more credibility, of course, if it were some airline
that could actually fly 382 feet without screwing something up.
In American football, the lineups—offensive and defensive—have different
sponsors. For crying out loud, even the first down line has a sponsor! Not
to mention the occasional statistical updates, moments of historic trivia
and the halftime report, which is sort of a monument to commercial
If you doubt this is out of control, check on the holiday American football
bowl games. The Picturegallery.com Bowl. The Tostitoes Fiesta Bowl. The IBM
OS2 Bowl. The Outback Steak House Bowl. The Tidy Bowl. Just kidding.
Now, there are two ways to deal with this. You can accept and ignore it.
Or you can make it work for you.
This latter approach is the one my Masonic pet raven brother, Furthermore,
and I are adopting. Why shouldn’t we have sponsorships and endorsements,
So, today, these words are being brought to you by Dell Latitude Computers,
for the best in word processing. Try one today. Tomorrow, we’re talking to
IBM. My appearance at the office today is sponsored by Chevrolet, the
Heartbeat of America, and endorsed by Chevron with Techron. My coffee break
this morning has the hearty endorsement of Starbucks, of course. And this
evening’s entertainment at the Boyer household is ringingly endorsed by
Gilbey’s Gin. (I know. Not very upscale. We’re working on it.)
I encourage you to adopt this approach, as well. There is absolutely no
reason why you, too, shouldn’t have your own official hardware store or gin
supplier, you know? This is called “thinking outside the box” and is the
wave of the future, which is being brought to you this morning by AT&T. At
least for the moment or until they get slammed by MCI.
Individual lodges could have individual sponsors! And now, Brothers,
tonight only, the East is brought to you by Coppertone Suntan Lotion! See
the Master’s remarkable glow! Or tonight’s degree is sponsored by McKay
Publishing. The Lecture is brought to you by Teaching Tools and the Apron
Lecture by Good Housekeeping! There is an opportunity here, Brothers, and
I, for one, believe we should grab it before the guys over at the Knights of
Columbus get hip!
And now, well, you probably suspected…a word from our sponsor….