Lazing on the sofa, idly watching a third rate college football bowl game that I don't care a whit about and never heard of before - the BBVA Compass Bowl. After a Pitt kick-off return, as ESPN went to commercial, I noticed the long shot of the Birmingham skyline had an area of soft focus, obscuring lettering on the parapets of two office buildings.
Here's what ESPN was hiding on behalf of their sponsor:
Competitors. As expected.
Moral of the story: Don't outsource your bullshit detection. Know when the content you see and hear is advertising.
College bowl games are and have always been about brand-building. This one? Same reason Toronto Dominion Bank bought naming rights to the Boston Garden - to fit in with the locals. Both have also disguised their nation of origin by using their initials. Toronto might not have been so bad, but Dominion, well, na ga happen. Can you imagine Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria in Birmingham!? Every deputy sheriff would be asking for their papers.
In fact, nearly all TV is captured by its sponsorship. Media is a product, and it carefully shows us just what its sponsors want us to see.