You just know it's an important issue when congressmen try to claim it in the name of patriotism and national security. The latest and most dangerous threat to America as we know it is -- prepare to be horrified --a 4 by 4-inch Spiderman 2 logo.
Granted, that logo -- promoting the joint Marvel Enterprises (NYSE: MVL ) and Sony (NYSE: SNE ) project -- is scheduled to appear in the middle of the bases during Major League Baseball games from June 11-13. The ad will not, however, appear on home plate.
That hasn't stopped overly dramatic political opportunist, Washington Congressman George Nethercutt, from wrapping himself in the flag to make the following criticism: "At a time when so many Americans are risking their lives to protect our values and traditions, I would hope Major League Baseball would do everything possible to protect our national pastime."
To judge by the rest of the headlines, Nethercutt isn't the only one who seems to think that baseball's purity is at stake.
Purity? What game are they watching?
It's disingenuous ( to say the least) to cry about a nearly invisible insignia while at the same time the ballparks are named for corporations, they're absolutely lousy with billboards, and the center-field jumbotrons flash ads for the likes of Anheuser-Busch (NYSE: BUD ) and Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO ) -- both available in one-gallon tubs for eight bucks a pop -- with seizure-inducing frequency.
Who even remembers that the thing out there was once a scoreboard? Who will even notice the subsequent on-base ads that are sure to follow? No one, which is why Marvel and Sony deserve credit for being the first to get on the bag. (Though, to be honest, their deal pales in comparison to the ingenious scheme concocted by one Fool.)
Is nothing sacred to us greedy stockholders? Shouldn't we bemoan the growing influence of filthy lucre in America's Pastime? Let's just say that with revenue inequities running rampant, the $3.6 million Spiderman deal is the least of Major League Baseball's many money issues.
Sony, Marvel, and baseball have the same goal: putting butts in seats. This deal, enhanced by the media-generated controversy, will help do that, and it will be good for all three.
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