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Honda Advertises on New York Yankee Greg Bird’s Face

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Sportsnet Honda advertisement on New York Yankee Greg Bird's face

Anyone who regularly watches baseball on television knows what it feels like to be inundated with advertisements. Not only are the ballparks themselves covered in corporate logos, but the TV announcers are forced to read awkward ad copy throughout the broadcast—the first managerial decision to bring a relief pitcher in is the “T-Mobile call to the bullpen,” the closer’s fastball is the “Tabasco hot sauce heater,” and the flashiest diving catch is the “Oscar Meyer hot dog play of the game.”

Rogers Sportsnet in Canada may have crossed the line last night, though, when they digitally inserted a Honda ad onto the face of New York Yankees first baseman Greg Bird.

Is nothing sacred?

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Redditor axiomitas noticed the unusual placement of the Honda logo on Wednesday night while watching the Toronto Blue Jays beat their AL East rivals 4-0, and posted a screenshot of the image to the r/baseball subreddit.

So why was it there? Sportsnet uses greenscreen effects to advertise company logos on the batter’s eye in centerfield, and even on the field itself, as seen here:

Sportsnet Toronto Blue Jays Honda ads

Photo credit: Business Insider

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Clearly, a glitch ended up putting the Honda “H” on Greg Bird’s face instead of the centerfield wall.

But even when working properly, it’s pretty intrusive to digitally insert advertisements onto the actual field of play. Company logos on the outfield walls are nothing new, but commercials on the field (even if they are in four territory) really screw with the aesthetics of the game, and are possibly a scary harbinger of things to come.

It’s a slippery slope, and if fans don’t take a stand now, eventually baseball players’ uniforms will look more like the jumpsuits that NASCAR drivers wear.