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Can’t Make It Up: Giants Sticking With Disgraced Sleeve Advertiser

Here’s a bit of uni news that got lost in the holiday shuffle. Remember how the San Francisco Giants added a particularly obnoxious-looking sleeve advertisement back in August and then ended up with egg on their face two months later when the advertiser’s license to do business in California was suspended after the state determined that the advertiser — a purveyor of self-driving cars — was a public safety menace and had misrepresented safety data?

At the time, it seemed likely that the Giants would not be wearing the sleeve ad again next season. After all, why would you wear an advertisement for a company that’s not even licensed to operate in your state? Moreover, why would you want to be associated with a company that’s been deemed to be a public safety menace? On top of all that, the company has been embroiled in turmoil over the past month or so: Its founder and CEO has resigned, its funding has been cut by “hundreds of millions of dollars,” and it just laid off nearly a quarter of its workforce, all of which would seem to mitigate against a continued presence on the Giants’ uniforms.

And yet. According to a report last week in The San Francisco Examiner, the Giants say their relationship with the sleeve advertiser “has not changed.” This apparently means that the obnoxious sleeve ad — the one paid for by a company that’s been determined to be hazardous to the public and isn’t even licensed to operate in the state of California — will still be there.

I get that we’re currently living in an unusually shameless era, and I also get that the wheels of capitalism tend to keep on turning (sort of like the wheels of a self-driving car), even when that flies in the face of common sense. But still, this seems really absurd.

Comments (22)

    That patch is so ugly. If it was a Boy Scout pin and it was the last pin I needed to become the ultimate scout master, I’d be like “pass, I’m not putting that thing on.”

    For some degree of reference, if a NHL team wants a gambling advertisement, gambling must be legal in the home jurisdiction (DC for Caesars and the Capitals, Nevada for Circa and the Golden Knights, etc), and they can’t advertise on the road for fear of being in a forbidden jurisdiction.
    I’d say it’s pretty shocking that a team can advertise an illegal business. I’d also say it seems like a bad waste of money but that’s secondary

    Good point – the Capitals’ Virginia arena plan does not mention gambling as far as I know, but I have to assume that is intended. Perhaps if the arena is approved, they will slip it in later.

    Talk about a disgraced UBI advertiser, the Chicago Fire selected Carvana to be their front jersey ad next year. In 2022, Carvana had their Illinois business license suspended

    I want nothing to do with a self-driving car. Not a passenger in one or even driving on the same road as one.

    As a computer programmer myself, I trust computers to be good drivers way more than humans. Computers follow rules, don’t get road rage, etc.

    The only problem is when these computers have to deal with human stupidity.

    If every car on the road were self driving, I’d be OK with it. But, almost all drivers are human, and there are plenty of stupid humans not in cars that do stupid things.
    Like back in October when a hit and run driver hit a pedestrian and knocked them right into the path of a Cruise self driving car. The car dragged the victim 20 feet while it was trying to pull over.

    I won’t claim to be an expert by any means, but in the above scenario, do you think a human driver, even one who is alert and going a safe speed…is going to be able to safely pull over and stop in less than twenty fee?

    I’d guess that it has more to do with the Giants getting paid and not wanting to return the money. They probably cannot find another advertiser willing to come close too what Cruise had paid.

    If asked they can just say it’s in honor of Tom Cruise, for being…a really good actor. That’s the ticket. Yeah.

    The other thing is that Cruise is (was) absolutely reviled by most residents of San Francisco. I’ve yet to meet a local who was supportive of the company and it never seemed right that the Giants would choose such a company to partner with. But I guess money talks and BS walks.
    I have to see my favorite team walk this road

    “I get that we’re currently living in an unusually shameless era … ”

    For all the complaints people have about AI, self-serve checkouts, et al., one of the best ways to separate us from the machines is to have what they aren’t capable of, among which is dignity and the ability to pass on money when it means doing the right thing. That’s how to compete against the machines and win.

    It bothers me that we are as shameless as we are in this moment. There are a lot of factors to blame, but I’ve always been of the belief that, no matter what happens, our dignity should not have a price.

    To make a totally fair assesment of this situation, I feel like we’d need to be privy to what’s in the contract agreement between the Giants and Cruise. Hard to believe the team doesn’t have some conditions where they could drop the advertiser, but maybe nothing has happened to meet them?

    “the wheels of capitalism tend to keep on turning (sort of like the wheels of a self-driving car)”

    Paul, you’re a truly delightful writer. This is why I click on every UW post, even the ones that seem like they’re about something I don’t care about.

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