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Off My Mind: Should Superheroes Get Corporate Sponsors?
by Tony 'G-Man' Guerrero on
Would it make a difference if they sported a business logo instead of their own?
Recently I asked "Should superheroes get paid?" Comic book heroes devote their lives to protect the innocent. They may not ask for anything in return but don't they deserve compensation for their time? Come on, heroes are people too (unless they come from another planet or dimension). Most heroes have to eat and pay bills. Costumes often get ripped and need repair. Not all heroes can get Reed Richards to make them a new costume out of unstable molecules. Having corporate sponsors could solve some of the problems for the hero.
At first, the idea of a hero being decked out in a company's logos might seem appalling. Booster Gold has received a lot of flack for doing so before. If your life were in danger, would it really matter what the hero saving you was wearing? Superheroes usually already have a logo or emblem of their own. Replacing it periodically shouldn't affect their superhuman abilities.
== TEASER ==
Looking at 'the real world,' we're already seeing our 'heroes' accepting payment from sponsors. Just about every time you see a television commercial or ad in a magazine, you see a sports figure or celebrity endorsing some product. They are getting paid for that and they are getting paid a lot. When they accept to do these endorsements, it doesn't hamper the number of games they'll be able to play or movies they can make. Why should it be any different if a superhero appeared in a commercial or had a company logo on their cape?
While this sounds like it could be a good idea, there is a tiny concern the hero should be aware of. What would be the obligations the endorsing company would place on them? The hero would have to make sure to read all the legal documents to see if they'd be required to make any public appearances at certain times. Having a commitment like this could endanger lives if they had to cut out of a battle early or weren't available when the city was being attacked.
A business looking to advertise with a hero would want to be careful when it came to setting up their next ad campaign. Heroes are noble and just but they can easily make mistakes. What would it mean for the company's image if a hero accidentally caused someone to get injured or even die? A successful campaign will make sure you do not forget who their spokesperson is. If the hero becomes unhinged the company will probably end up with consumer protests or boycotts.
We won't be seeing heroes wearing corporate logos anytime soon but you have to wonder how long they can continue saving the world for free. That is part of who they are. It's what makes them a hero. There just may come a day when the hero isn't there because he's trying to figure out how to pay the rent.