Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Corporate sponsorship in our parks and playgrounds

Corporations are more than willing to put money into the development of just about anything as long as it offers them a chance to advertise.

Hockey rinks, stadiums, university buildings, parking lots and libraries are no exception.

In the Infinite Jest, the book suggests that in the future corporate sponsorship could go as far as renaming the years of a calendar (most of the book takes place in the Year of the Depends Adult Undergarmet).

There are few places left that are not fair game for advertisers - and this poses a diemma for those who have space to sell, namely parks and playgrounds.

With financial pressure, it is tempting to take sponsorship in exchange for supplies. But perhaps it wouldn't be such a dilemma if the there were a thorough screening process for the type of companies that could advertise.

If sustainably-inclined companies were allowed the opportunity to shoulder even a portion of the cost it could help, as long as there were stipulations in place to ensure their advertising does not come across as marring to the landscape or awkwardly intrusive to the mental environment. This could be as innocuous as restricting sponsorship information to the areas that have already been infringed upon (although beneficially, arguably) by humans such as signage, picnic benches, fire grates, and outhouses with the communication limited to a small sign, plaque or stamp (such as in the benches outside of libraries).

There is probably a formula somewhere that relates to the amount of government favouritism in relation to sustainable business incentives and development vs that of corporate involvement in terms of kyoto penalties, future development, BC PR prestige and the economy.


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