I bought some potatoes the other day and was surprised to see them packaged in a bag labeled “NASCAR.” Yes, NASCAR, the nation’s number-one spectator sport. “Isn’t that all about CAR Racing?” I asked myself. “What does car racing have to do with potatoes?”
So I went to Nascar.com and found this:
NASCAR branded produce is now in stores. Distributed by Castellini Group, one of the largest produce distributors in the U.S., the items include potatoes, tomatoes, onions, lemons, limes and oranges. Of course, NASCAR doesn’t actually grow the produce. It merely licensed its name and mark to Castellini for use on the packaging, both polybags and cardboard containers.
Castellini Group, based in Wilder, Ky., just across the Ohio River from Cincinnati, had taken a look at sports licensing before, but never met with the right property until NASCAR. “We’ve done some licensing before, with the Cincinnati Reds, the University of Notre Dame, the Cincinnati Bengals and the University of Tennessee, but every time we did that it was more of a regional type of thing,” said Jack Bertagna of sales and marketing at Castellini. “When I saw NASCAR, I thought, ‘Wow, this was something else.’
Castellini clients include Kroger, Wal-Mart, Kmart, Meijer and Winn-Dixie stores. Bertagna said the company would expand the NASCAR Fresh Vegetables lineup for next season to include Washington apples and California carrots.
As far as I can tell, it’s all about NASCAR garnering even more support for their sport. You almost have to admire Castellini Group and Nascar for seizing the moment.
Except I don’t admire them. I feel violated by them. I feel like an aphid being milked by an ant. I feel like everywhere I look, someone is trying to sell me something. Because, they are! At least here in the United States, they are, because the U.S. like most other Over-Developed countries is a hotbed of economic activity. To the point that they only reason their citizens exist is to spend money and keep the economy healthy. More proof that the capitalistic experiment has gone awry.
What can we do about it? For starters, turn off your television and stop listening to the radio. Let your subcriptions to all magazines with advertising run out. Tune out the wallet squeezers! If the media has its way, we’ll all be running on this treadmill until we drop dead. Go to ADBUSTERS and start tuning into reality.