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Greenpeace: A New ESPN Sponsor?
Greenpeace has embraced the X Games, an athletic competition featuring high risk skateboard maneuvers and other "extreme" sports. The X Games were created by ESPN as a punk-style alternative to the more staid competitions, such as the Olympics. Eager to market to the younger consumer demographic segment, the X Games are supported by major corporate brand name sponsors such as Taco Bell and Mountain Dew and now, apparently, by Greepeace.

Greenpeace's support for the Summer X Games is prominently featured on environmental watchdog group's website. Greenpeace describes the games as "extreme and green" and note that "there are numerous subversive eco-actions taking place during the event." What these "subversive actions" are is unexplained and probably unimportant. After all, when it comes to marketing, Greenpeace seems to have adopted a page from Nike's strategy, success requires attitude.

And Greenpeace has attitude in abundance. They may not be interested in taking any responsible steps to improve the environment, but they sure have attitude. Provided, of course, you consider carefully crafted marketing campaigns to constitute "attitude."

Greenpeace notes that at the X Games, "don't look for archery and badminton... The X Games are for skateboarders, bike stunts, aggressive in-line skaters, and Moto X." Greenpeace goes on to say, "Are you going to call any of these guys wimped out tree-huggers? I don't think so." Could Madison Avenue have said it better?

The article on the Greenpeace website closes by asking readers "Next time you're building a skateboard ramp, or more likely, buying any wood product always look for the FSC [Forest Stewardship Council] logo. Can't find it in your local store - then ask why they don't stock FSC products!"

Let's see, Greenpeace is plugging logos, promoting a macho image and backing the entertainment product of a major multinational corporation. It looks to Winston like Greenpeace's attitude toward Big Business is following the age old advice, if you can't beat them, join them.

  • Click for Greenpeace website.

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