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Soccer Fans: Boycott Sony Bravia HD TVs

If you’re in the market for a new TV between now and the end of the year, be sure to boycott Sony’s Bravia HD TV. Why? The Japanese manufacturer is making fun of soccer in its TV commercials.

The new TV commercial features Peyton Manning, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and other celebrities hating on soccer.

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This entry was posted in General, Leagues: EPL and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

About Christopher Harris

Founder and publisher of World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris is the managing editor of the site. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications. Plus he has made appearances on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT. Harris, who has lived in Florida since 1984, has supported Swansea City since 1979. He's also an expert on soccer in South Florida, and got engaged during half-time of a MLS game. Harris launched EPL Talk in 2005, which was rebranded as World Soccer Talk in 2013.
View all posts by Christopher Harris →

36 Responses to Soccer Fans: Boycott Sony Bravia HD TVs

  1. Trooper says:

    What a bizarre marketing decision. No, soccer fans don't comprise a majority of Americans, but as a group they are sizable enough — and, more important, moneyed enough — to make this a really risky ad.

  2. Kevino says:

    Why buy Sony when you can join Samsung advertising, http://embed.break.com/NTU4MjUz,

    What a lovely bunch of coconuts.

  3. JaBbA says:

    It's especially odd with Sony Bravia being a major sponsor of the Champions League.

    They probably felt that on balance soccer fans would be more likely to remember the Bravia commercials before each half during CL matches.

    It's not so much the anti-soccer, it's the image of the soccer fan being a unsocialized geek.

  4. Todd says:

    soccer fan in america needs to get a sense of humor. but either way, the only person on the panel who looks like they can do their job this year is the camera guy. peyton has one of the worst QB ratings in the league and is 1-2, junior's only win this year was in an exhibition, JB has to be the worst presenter on NFL based pre game shows (and he has plenty of competition) and the last one is a chicken suit. hardly a crack staff of sports icons.

    either way, its a lame joke and to boycott the brand is pretty silly. but not sure why they would want to put off any sports fan when they are selling an HDTV to a sports market. ESPN may make jokes about soccer, but they want you to tune in on thursday nights for MLS in HD. but a knee jerk reaction is exactly the sort of thing that holds this sport back in this country. see the commercial where derek jeter tells tiger woods that golf isnt a real sport. are golfers around the world boycotting gillette?

  5. DR says:

    I agree with Todd regarding “get a sense of humor”. I thought it was hilarious. I found NO offense in the soccer comment / laughing–especially since Football in the US means just that . . . Football!

    (Todd–JR won at MIS and broke his 76(?) non-points winless streak.

  6. lsmetana says:

    I agree with Todd's comment regarding the Tiger Woods/Derek Jeter Gillette commercial. Soccer fans here have to just enjoy their sport and not worry about little jokes made here and there.

  7. Hank says:

    Have to agree with Todd.

    Personally, I found it more annoying that the Sony sales pitch is just mind bogglingly dumb. “If sports are shot on a Sony HD Camera, shouldn't you watch them on one?” – I guess I should use Internet Explorer to surf the web because so many pages are written in MS FrontPage…

  8. That's not as bad as the FSC ad with the two dudes getting turned away from the frat party because they were wearing NFL jerseys instead of soccer jerseys. I like both. Am I suddenly not welcome to join the party?

  9. kkfla737 says:

    Don't blame the Japanese. This ad is clearly catered to the hatred the American jock culture and jockocracy that runs the major sports media outlets has towards football.

    The NFL to me is the most unwatchable sport around. After being raised on the game and nearly obsessed with it throughout the 1980s (heck my parents even subscribed me to Pro Football Weekly in 1982 when I was 8 years old I was so into it- then we had a strike that year and I cried in school) I can proudly say I have not watched an NFL game since 2006. I've been sober almost two years!

    I've been watching real football since the early 80s as well thanks to the NASL, but since FSC, GOL TV and Setanta became available why waste time with American professional sports and the jock culture which in fact masks the inferiority and isolationism of the American sporting landscape.

  10. Tampasoccer says:

    Well, commercial like that is plain dumb and unnecessary. Ergo, I am never buying another SONY product again. And will make sure my friends know about the situation. Very dumn move on the part of SONY.

  11. Auslander25 says:

    I think boycotting their product isn't enough. Hopefully somebody will drop an atomic bomb on their corporate headquarters.

  12. Trooper says:

    Good for all you people who 'agree with Todd.' But frankly, I don't see the point in applauding yourselves for the thickness of your own skin. Yeah, cool, so you're able to laugh at yourselves …. welcome to being a human being.

    As people are pointing out elsewhere, the issue with this commercial isn't whether you're personally “offended” or not. Who cares about that. The issue is how it hurts the cause of soccer in the United States. You people are already soccer fans. A commercial isn't going to run you off. But if you think it can't have an effect on others coming into the game, whether potential players or fans, you're crazy.

    I don't mean to make too much over a single ad, but honestly …. this is probably the most prominent public swipe at soccer I've seen in my four decades. It's also kind of startling to see it here in 2008…. I thought we were finally starting to cross the threshold where soccer-bashing was viewed as kind of cliched and lame.

  13. Weston says:

    Its a tv commercial…its not going to hurt the cause of the game in the states. Dont give those marketing weenies too much credit.

  14. Trooper says:

    Saying stuff like “it's just a commercial” is usually the mark of someone who does not understand the nature of iconography and the power of advertising. Companies don't spend billions of dollars on advertising for the fun of it. They spend billions of dollars on advertising because it affects human behavior.

    At any rate, I'm not saying this one frikking ad is gonna destroy soccer in the United States. I'm simply pointing out that “soccer fans need to get a sense of humor” is not necessarily a sufficient response to the topic.

  15. Todd says:

    trooper, ill admit you have a very valid point. we could very easily look at the subconscious damage such a commercial may cause. i think you may have misinterpreted my point slightly…in the same comment about how soccer fans should get the joke and take it for what its worth, i mentioned that it was a bizare advertising decision and shows the fundamental problem with our sport in this country.

    but i have maintained for a few years now that its not ad gurus, sportscenter anchors, or loud mouth sports columnists preventing the beautiful game from being accepted by mainstream america. its petulent, crybaby soccer fan who demands everyone appreciate the subtly of a 1-0…meanwhile trashing on NFL and tv timeouts. we cant build our game by bringing down the others. and when things like this happen we cant act like we cant take a joke.

    lets be rational…is peyton (ie sony, ad execs, mainstream media) suggesting football/soccer is in fact not a sport by definition, or is he implying its simply not a 'real' sport? does he mean its not a popular sport in this country, or that something about the mechanics make it not legitimate. if we can agree he was just saying 'no, this tv is for real sporting events like the super bowl or the world series…not for you to watch the entire first season of 'Who's the Boss?'. I think the point is that soccer is the pistachio of the sporting world. everyone likes peanuts (football), cashews (baseball) and almonds (basketball)…but for a little extra money and a more acquired taste, some of us demand the finer things in life. not as easily accessable, easy to call different or elitist, and perhaps even a little bit weird (they are green!). soccer is just slightly different, and im ok with that. they make jokes about golf, bowling, poker, darts and team thinking…likewise, soccer is a punching bag. but as long as we act like the red headed step child we will be treated as one. hockey fan, nascar fan and more recently, MMA fan have showed they dont need ESPN or major advertisers…they will just passionately follow their sport and the money will come to them. it always does.

    you make a valid point trooper…and if we belittled it, then you certainly made it into something its not. commercials are memorable, but ive seen 2 other versions of THIS commercial and not seen this one specifically. its hardly going to affect human behavior.

    look at this video, when jeter makes a jab at golf at the end http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q8-bOSEfFWk

    do you know why soccer fan should be offended by this? because rather than make fun of us, they dropped thierry henry and replaced him with jeter. id rather be in the commercial in jest than completely ignored…think about that

  16. Todd says:

    id like to ad, if we take the commercial extremely literal..we are left agreeing with peyton. would you buy a sony bravia hdtv to watch sports? sure, but wont be watching soccer in hd (thursday night mls being the only exception) where as we can watch real sports like NBA, NFL, MLB, golf, tennis (and the list goes on and on) all in hd every week. not one prem, la liga or any other league has hd matches shown in the US, not even the champions league final. all we get is the odd USMNT or MLS match…

    so as i said, technically the commercial hits at a bigger issue…and the fact that its RIGHT is worse than its subconscious damage it may cause.

  17. Hi Everyone-

    My name is Jennifer and I work for Sony Electronics.

    Please know, that the intent of Sony's latest commercial was to bring light on the U.S. consumers’ lack of knowledge or awareness of soccer, compared to NASCAR and NFL and not meant to offend anyone who enjoys or plays the sport. Sony is a strong global supporter of soccer/football with long-term sponsorships of both FIFA and FIFA Player of the Year Kaka. Again, Sony did not intend to offend anyone with this commercial.

  18. Patrick says:

    I'm more bothered by the lies McCain tells in his ads, then an ad with a chicken poking locker room type humour at the world's biggest sport.

    and lets face it, making an American football fan even associate the word football with soccer is a start.

    oyyy vey this blog today is doing my head in.

  19. cftv37 says:

    Sure Sony was poking fun at soccer fan in that commerical. That said we are also seeing stories on TV about how Kevin Garnett is really into the Premiership, Steve Nash is a Tottenham supporter, and Kobe Bryant making it a point to meet Messi at the Olympics and watch him play for the Argies. US sports fans and the media will always slag soccer but over the past 10 years soccer has really started to make in-roads in our country through MLS and more games from the different foreign leagues around the world being available on cable tv………………………………………..

  20. Stephen says:

    Jennifer

    Thanks for taking the time to post a response.

    If at all possible, please send a message back to Sony corporate that mindless ads like this don't reflect well on your company.

    Sony wouldn't air this ad, or one like it, in Europe or South America, so why is it OK in the USA? As a global supporter of soccer, your company shouldn't be dissing the sport in the US by pandering to other sports like American football.

  21. cy says:

    Kinda strange considering they are Champions League sponsors.

  22. The Gaffer says:

    Hi Jennifer,

    It's a bit late for that. If it was Sony's intent not to offend soccer fans with this commercial, then why make the soccer the butt of the cheap joke in the first place?

    I appreciate your attempt to diffuse the situation, but the fact of the matter is that the ad was done in poor taste and will undoubtedly offend soccer fans throughout the US — and courtesy of YouTube — around the world.

    Cheers,
    The Gaffer

  23. Trooper says:

    Thanks for the cool response, Todd. I think we're basically on the same page.

    Back to my original post on the riskiness of the ad from a marketing standpoint: It just struck me that the ad is even riskier than I'd first realized, given the ethnic/cultural implications. Beyond us fans of the EPL and MLS, there is a distinctly huge market of Hispanics in the United States who are essentially being mocked by Sony here.

    Given how easily the ad can be perceived as a slam, that makes Sony's decision even more baffling. This is not about whether those perceptions are right or wrong, because in advertising, perceptions are all that matter. The whole thing is just bizarre.

  24. Lew says:

    By the way, Mexican League games are carried in HD on Univision. As Trooped points out those who can afford HD TVs in the Mexican-American community may want to boycott SONY and find another product.

  25. Angelo says:

    lol. Great way to lose customers. looking forward to tell my friends about this, to people who devote their lives to the game globally. and isnt there are LARGE population of hispanics and many other non-american ethnic groups in America ? surely they play soccer, i dont understand sony lol !!

  26. tj says:

    Well, now I know which TV to cross off my shopping list. The Panasonic plasma I wanted was a bit more expensive than the Sony Bravia, but it was a better TV anyway.

  27. doug says:

    I agree with many of your points but I find you choosing this Jeter commercial to be quite appropriate to the status of Soccer in the USA. When this Gillete advertising campaign first started the athletes were Tiger Woods, Roger Federer and Thiery Henry. Gillete has recently replaced Henry with Jeter in the USA market. I can only imagine that the reasoning behind this was that noone knew who Henry was. We may be making inroads but we have a long way to go in this country.

  28. Ryan says:

    I found it pretty ignorant and typical of american attitudes to sports that are not there own. I'm sure they think if they can somehow take the sport down a notch it'll be less of a competition for they're native sports. I am in the market for a new tv and sony will not be a choice I'll look at.

  29. The Gaffer says:

    The movement to boycott Sony is catching on. First it was EPL Talk, then The Offside picked up the story. This morning, 101 Great Goals wrote about it and now The Daily Telegraph picked up the baton and gave us a round of applause.

    See http://tinyurl.com/47s5m7

    Thanks to EPL Talk reader Stephen for first telling us about the story. See his comments at http://tinyurl.com/4kdr36

    Cheers,
    The Gaffer

  30. Stephen says:

    Gaffer

    Thanks for the acknowledgement. I never imagined I'd start an internet movement when I first posted that.

    Shows what can be done if enough people speak out.

    Power to the People!

  31. Todd says:

    Jim Rome just had another attack on 'SAWKER' when maurice jones drew came on his show wearing a brazil jersey. rome knocked him for it …acting like john mccain came to an interview with katie couric wearing a chicken suit. anyway, thats pathetic, outdated, and misinformed. the commercial was an attempt at a joke that failed with too much of its audience to be effective. this issue has been on my mind a lot lately…

  32. Patrick says:

    hey are you going to give up your sony pictured in this post

    http://www.soccerondish.com/lets-not-get-our-ho

  33. The Gaffer says:

    Patrick,

    It's not my TV. Check to see who wrote the article.

    Cheers,
    THe Gaffer

  34. screw you says:

    wow…what a fucking moron you are…Dale Jr. has won a race and he is in the race for the chase

  35. Jewcifer says:

    This commercial is hilarious… if soccer fans cant take a joke, screw them.

  36. Gene says:

    Get real…….the NFL rules this country. I laughed when I saw the commercial. I went out and bought (2) Sony Bravia TV’s simply because I hate boycotters and their Nazi ways. I believe Adolf Hitler would support your cause if he were alive today…..thank God he is not. Are you going to boycott me because I thanked God ?

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