Save International Sport – Buy Puma!
There are some blogs that should be repeated every few months. This is one that I posted in 2011, when we going through another FIFA corruption scandal. Now the international sports world is witnessing another; the post is worth reading again:
Dear Concerned Football Fan,
So you are are upset by the latest corruption scandal coming out of FIFA? Here is what you need to do.
Please do not bother with the carefully-worded petitions to sports officials. Please do not bother with the appeals to the media. Please do not bother with campaigns for politicians.
The sports officials will ignore your petitions. The journalists will write, if you are lucky, brief articles about your appeal and then go back to their usual reports of tactics, athletes’ hamstrings or morale ‘before the big game’. The politicians largely cannot change anything in the sports world, so will be unable to help you.
However, there is one, effective way of cleaning up international sports. A world-wide boycott of sponsors who tolerate corruption in sports organizations.
In brief, if you want to clean up international football, then buy Puma.
I want to be clear, I have nothing against Adidas. They are a reputable company that makes very good sports clothes and shoes. However, FIFA as it is currently constituted is an organization sponsored and supported by Adidas. Adidas and Puma loathe each other. They have done so since the founding Dassler brothers, both living in a small German town after the second world war, had a bitter argument. The personal feud has dimmed in recent years, but Adidas and Puma are still intense competitive rivals – so write to Adidas and say something like:
I like your products. I would like to buy them. However, I will not do so while you support FIFA as it is currently managed. I will buy Puma, your rivals. I will continue to do so until FIFA implements some of the Ten Commandments for Anti-Corruption in Sports. Then I will consider buying your excellent products.
Repeat this procedure for every single major sponsor of sports organizations. Coca Cola supports FIFA write to them and tell them that, reluctantly, you will buy only Pepsi.
Do two things, make sure that the executives realize that you are not blaming them or their products and secondly, organize a proper and effective boycott. Get your friends to do it, use social media, write to the dozens of organizations that are trying to clean-up international sports. If one-hundred-thousand people can back Sports Illustrated Grant Wahl to run as President of FIFA, then one-hundred-thousand people saying they will buy Puma, drink Pepsi and not fly with the Emirates (who withdrew this sponsorship of FIFA last month) will have a massive effect.
Sport is facing an unprecedented wave of corruption. It needs people to stand up and fight for it. Will you be someone who sits on the sidelines and complains, or will you stand up to defend the sport that we all love?
Note: In fairness to Puma, I should add that they are one of the few sports sponsors I have ever seen that pulled out of financing a football league due to corruption.
Puma took this courageous stance in South Africa – a league crawling with corruption and fixing. If only other sponsors would mirror their courageous stance we could clean up sport quickly.