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Professional sports is a business.
—Lynn Swann

Mr. Swann knew a thing or two about professional sports. He played a few years, and caught more than a few things thrown his way. Several large rings on those fingers, I believe. These days, if I see Lynn Swann, he is more than likely wearing a blazer, hat, t-shirt, shoes, socks, or tie that has a name of a company on it. Corporate sponsored.

This came to me watching TV the other week. I flipped past a golf tournament in which someone else was dancing on Tiger Woods over the last few holes to win, and while trying to avoid dozing off, I had this vision of all of the players with EVERY item of clothing advertising one company or the other. Their bags, their clubs, their caddies, their shoes—every item with a featured and quite obvious brand tag. This is about as subtle as a wet mop in the face. I soon after went to RSNA and lo and behold, an echo! The vendors had tags, shirts, jackets, ties, etc., etc. with their corporate logos. Everybody, but me. Hmmmm….

It does not take a genius to see the course of reimbursements and where we are headed. If I hear “we’ll make it up with volume” one more time, I may go postal. It is becoming more and more like trying to drink from a fire hose. I’d like to make it up with collections for what I do. But, all things considered, we need “alternative revenue streams.” So, I have an idea.

The business of radiology may need corporate sponsorship: Radiologists in the reading room with their sponsoring CT or MR vendors brightly displayed on themselves. We use their equipment just like the golfers use those clubs. Let’s get some return.

Before we go big, we should start with some basics. The radiologists will wear comfortable, tailored, not-too-garishly colored polo shirts and ties with the radiology company sponsor logo on the clothing item. We will wear the shirts at work, at lunch, and will be allowed to take them off for our drive home (some of us may want to go out on the way home, and we need a little divide here). Simple basic colors — I’m not going to work as a human peacock for anyone (unless this sponsorship is HUGE). If this works out well, we will move to jackets with emblems, cuff links, embossed shoes and bags, and hats. Finally, we will consider sponsored cars with company emblems.

I know, I know. Corporate sponsorship sucks. They won’t even help with regional medical societies anymore. I am just putting it out there.

If any of you get this corporate clothing thing working, send the rest of us advice on how to pull it off. Enjoy the new year. Mahalo.

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Sponsors.  Appl Radiol. 

By C. Douglas Phillips, MD, FACR| January 03, 2014

About the Author

C. Douglas Phillips, MD, FACR

C. Douglas Phillips, MD, FACR

Dr. Phillips is a Professor of Radiology, Director of Head and Neck Imaging, at Weill Cornell Medical College, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, New York, NY. He is a member of the Applied Radiology Editorial Advisory Board.

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