Sponsorships key to this stimulus

I?ve been seriously reflecting on the economy for a good three or four minutes now, and I think I might have come up with an idea that should help the solution along.

If I learned anything from my American history class in high school, it is that people must put large quantities of money into the market in order for the economy to get become healthy again.

Case in point: President Franklin D. Roosevelt used this idea in his New Deal, in which he created hundreds of mindless jobs such as constructing the Coronado Heights castle, which really isn?t good for anything except eliciting elementary school field trips and collecting bird doodoo.

Under the New Deal, unemployed Americans could find work, get paid and then spend that money on their children?s Nintendo Wii game system.

This not only beefed up the economy, but also created entirely new chapters in history text books.

I had this thought: Wouldn?t it be great if we could get Americans to spend more money without using any money to make them spend in the first place?

Then I thought: Boy was that ever a complicated sentence.

An obvious way to get people to spend money is to advertise. In our society, advertisements must be able to get the public?s attention.

Television commercials and printed ads are too common. What we need for the David Vogel Stimulus Plan is something that?s a bigger than your average advertisement.

That?s right; I?m talking corporate sponsorships.

Businesses often sponsor certain events so they get their name and services to the public in a way that seems more like charity than advertising.

Take, for example, Radio Kansas.

Radio Kansas is a public radio station that prides itself on ?no commercials,? yet will drone on and on about its day sponsors:

?Thank you for listening to your commercial-free Radio Kansas. Today?s broadcasts are sponsored by Camille?s Beauty Salon and Bait Shop of Kansas, a proud supporter of Radio Kansas since it opened in 1971.

?Camille?s Beauty Salon and Bait Shop of Kansas is family-owned, and features a full-service spa that includes haircuts, makeup, pedicures, manicures, sinecures and messages. And just across the room, Camille?s husband Floyd offers a wide variety of live bait and tackle.

?And during the month of March, all customers of Camille?s Beauty Salon and Bait Shop are eligible for the Buy-Three-Dozen-Night-Crawlers-and-Receive-a-Free-Facial sale. We now return to our regular programming on your commercial-free Radio Kansas.?

But what bothers me the most about corporate sponsorships is football bowl games.

It seems like it used to be that you had your basic bowl games: the Rose Bowl, Orange Bowl, Cotton Bowl, etc.

Now, you can?t swing an over-used clich? without hitting a bowl game with abused corporate sponsorship.

This year?s Rose Bowl was sponsored by Citi, the Orange Bowl by FedEx and the Cotton Bowl by AT&T.

Meanwhile, a whole wad of mutant bowl games have sprouted including the Chick-Fil-A Bowl, Capital One Citrus Bowl, Tostitos Fiesta Bowl and PapaJohns.com Bowl.

I?m still waiting for more sponsored bowl games including the Petco Fish Bowl, Kellogg?s Cereal Bowl, Pampered Chef Mixing Bowl and Scrubbing Bubbles Toilet Bowl.

What these corporations have figured out is that football games occur with great frequency and people can?t avoid them. So the companies pay the bowl people lots of money, slap their logo on the game and, BOOM, they have easy advertising.

The only problem with this is that for the David Vogel Stimulus Plan, a minimal amount of money must be used on some sort of frequently occurring event.

My proposal: natural disasters.

Using natural disasters would be a wonderful way for companies to promote themselves to a large, varying audience on a regular basis.

The companies would just have to notify the National Weather Service about which event they are sponsoring, and then every time a meteorologist gave an update on the storm, that company would be advertised:

?Good Evening. We here at the Channel 11 Multi-Computer Screen Weather Complex are breaking in on your rerun of ?Desperate Housewives? to inform you that tonight?s tornado, sponsored by Oreck, is heading due east at approximately 23 miles per hour. The Oreck Tornado should be hitting your city any time, so seek shelter.?

I?ve come up with several other ideas for corporately sponsored natural disasters including the Super Soaker Tsunami, Slim-Fast Famine, Dairy Queen Blizzard, Speed Stick Drought and Dippin Dots Hailstorm. Naturally, the list could go on and on.

I?ll be happy to send the David Vogel Stimulus Plan to Washington, but first I?d like to hear your ideas for a corporately sponsored natural disaster. E-mail me at davidbvogel@tabor.edu.

I think that, together, we will be able to get this nation turned around. No bowl.

* * *

UFO: The Rose Bowl was first played in 1902. It was sponsored by AT&T in 1999, Play Station 2 in 2002 and Citi took over in 2003.

Don?t ask why.

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