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At a loss for souvenirs

Angie Marcos, LV Life Editor

Angie Marcos, LV Life Editor

While in Madrid this summer, my family and I decided to attend the presentation of the world’s highest paid soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo.

The Santiago Bernabéu stadium, which holds a capacity of 80,000 people, was filled almost instantly and a large crowd gathered outside the stadium in front of a large television screen to witness Ronaldo’s presentation as a player of Real Madrid.

What I realized from attending was that Spain has poor, if any, marketing techniques when it comes to games or events.

When I think of American sporting events what comes to mind before the athletes or the actual game is the food offered while I sit in the stands. It is kind of hard to say no to peanuts and a cold bottle of water when it’s one foot away from your face.

At the Ronaldo presentation there were no food or drink vendors in sight.

In fact, the term has never been heard before in any event in Spain.

As I stood and watched all in attendance fight their way out of the soccer stadium, I wondered how it was possible that promoters would not be shoving various food items and drinks into 80,000 enthusiastic fans’ faces, especially since getting into the stadium was completely free of charge.

When the presentation was over, the massive crowd was encouraged to visit the Real Madrid gift shop to buy their very own new Cristiano Ronaldo jerseys.

The only problem was that there was only one little store and over 80,000 eager Ronaldo jersey seeking fans.

Instead of putting up stands and luring potential jersey buyers into buying the $125 jersey on their way out to the parking lot, they just let them get away without purchasing anything.

Even Medieval Times in Buena Park does a better job of promoting souvenirs to visitors in the stands.

It is almost as if watching a horse tournament with a paper crown on your head makes you realize that you’ve always wanted a plastic sword, shield and light up cup with the words Medieval Times proudly stamped on it.

I do not recall ever attending any sporting event or concert and leaving without purchasing anything – even if it meant buying another $7 keychain that I would lose before even getting home.

I almost feel bad leaving an event without purchasing some sort of remembrance of it.

The result of the lack of Ronaldo jerseys made available to the public only made half of the fans go home without leaving even $1 at the stadium and the other half of the fans enraged and obsessed with buying the jersey before anyone else had it. And they were willing to do anything to ensure this came true.

My brother and I witnessed a man use his head as a fist in order to get into the store and saw an employee be trampled as she brought out a new box of jerseys and tried to take them out of the box.

As a result, the store was closed after a few hours, but not before 2,000 shirts were sold in two hours and 300 stolen in one hour.

Although the United States does tend to go overboard in promoting items for purchase in highly populated events, sometimes it’s exactly what the consumer wants: options.

Angie Marcos, a sophomore journalism major, is LV Life editor of the Campus Times. She can be reached by e-mail at angie.marcos@laverne.edu.

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