Sponsorship by companies dealing with nutritional supplements and sports drinks for sporting events need to be prevented as public is mislead into thinking that these products work well or are good for health, suggest scientists.
The study by Simon Outram and Bob Stewart of the Institute of Sport, Exercise, and Active Living, in Melbourne, Australia suggests that nutritional supplements and rehydration drinks don't compare with the unhealthiness of fast food, tobacco, or alcohol, all of which have been associated with major sporting events.
The study states that the very fact that these products are marketed as beneficial or essential for sporting prowess and/or general health, when the evidence has so far failed to substantiate these claims or justify their cost, is likely to make it harder for the public to judge the value of these products objectively.
The researchers said that the successful sponsorship campaigns remove or minimize any skepticism about the product (a common reaction to advertising) and a form of seamless or hidden product association is created whereby such products come to be seen as integral to sport-the sports supplement or sports drink.
The study found that it is for good reason that nutritional supplement and sports drinks companies invest heavily in sports sponsorship and such sponsorship-together with associated product endorsements and advertising-conveys the message that their products are integral to sporting engagement and achievement.