Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Right, wrong or indifferent? Emirates Airline and the U.S. Open

Emirates Airline as a US Tennis Open Sponsor: Right or wrong and is the question even relevant?
Spending the day at the US Tennis Open in Queens, New York or watching the coverage on TV, one can't help but notice that one of the tournaments main sponsors is Emirates Airline, owned by the government of Dubai!
As an American, not to mention an American Jew, the question I asked myself was whether for me personally Emirates Airline represented an appropriate face of the national tennis tournament of the United States?
My answer? I didn't think so but then again I supposed that in the same way Qatar and Saudi Arabia are 'friends' of the United States, conventional wisdom would say Dubai is as well.
Given that reasoning all is well with the sponsorship.
But on the other side of the argument, for American Jews, Israelis and Jews in general is Dubai a place we could call home or even be allowed to call home? Is it a place we could say that we would even be tolerated?
I do know that in 2009 Dubai refused to allow Israeli tennis pro Shahar Peer a visa to play in a tournament there and that Dubai currently has no diplomatic ties with Israel.
Final Resolution!
While the money of Emirates Airline and the government of Dubai is very green and very plentiful, I wondered whether there aren't any other deep pocketed potential sponsors that may be slightly more appropriate than this one?
Perhaps there are and then again perhaps there is absolutely nothing wrong with the association and my personal sensitivities are merely getting in the way of good business.
When you get right down to it, Barack Obama is not the best friend that Israel has ever had in the White House and advertising from American companies certainly isn't going to be banned!
And what about the sordid past of another major sponsor, Mercedes Benz.
Upon further review, I suppose that if the US Open were to ban advertising from countries and corporations with an axe to grind against Israel, the walls around the courts would be empty of logos and the prize money for the men and women's singles champions would be a hell of a lot less than $3,000,000!
Additionally, the question I am asking here is based on the narrow view of one consumer in a very narrow demographic.
As anecdotal proof of this narrowness an online search didn't find this question over Emirates Airline appropriateness being asked anywhere else.
Finally, if you were to extrapolate this idea out to where acceptable advertising at a venue is based on the metric of cross-border disputes, I suppose that we could get to a point where very little advertising would be acceptable anywhere.
Just a thought!
Final Resolution? Play on!


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