You Can’t Have Your Hot Dog and Eat It Too

Major League Baseball’s Washington Nationals set a new standard in pro sports by building a green stadium for its team.
By saving millions of gallons of water, using efficient field lighting, adding a green roof, incorporating recycling at the ballpark and using recycled materials in 20 percent of the ballpark’s construction, the project received LEED Silver Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.
image courtesy of Flickr user, XMRocks
Yet, not everything is copacetic in green land.
According to The New York Times, the team is the focus of protests from environmentalists who say their issue is not with the stadium, but with the Nationals’ advertising relationship with the oil giant ExxonMobil.
During a nine-game home stand in late June, ExxonMobil worked with the Alliance to Save Energy, a nonpartisan, nonprofit group, to offer energy-saving tips at the new stadium.
“It’s an interesting dilemma,” Alan Jeffers, an Exxon spokeman, said. “We get criticized for not doing enough for the environment, then get criticized when we do” run an environmental campaign.
On the other side of the issue, Strike Out Exxon’s, Mike Tidwell, said, “The more environmental the Nationals make that park seem, the stronger the payday for Exxon. It’s an amazing perversion.”
Steve Kretzmann, executive director of Oil Change International (and a friend of mine from Franklin & Marshall), said, “Washington has a long and tortured relationship with Texas. We’re not particularly big fans.”



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.