“Bimbo” Lost in Translation?
So, I like soccer. When I lived in Germany, I lived near Cologne, and naturally my Bundesliga team was the local 1. FC Köln. Even now, I’m still a fan of die Geißböcke, though games are hard to catch on TV.
(Left is Hennes, their mascot. As if you needed another reason to love Cologne.)
Here in the States, though, soccer is much less prominent, but despite that, I recently got a local team of my own to cheer for. And that, dear friends is Philadelphia Union.
But today, the team announced that Philly has a new sponsor, whose logo will feature prominently on the new jerseys:
OK, so according to the article, plus a little additional research, Bimbo is a Mexican-owned bakery whose name is pronounced beem-bo. But to most of us English-speakers in the States? It’s something else.
Is this an instance of simply taking $12 million in sponsorship, regardless of the lost-in-translation logo and a possible hit to sales of ladies’ jerseys?
Or is this a gamble that Latino viewers, who may be more prone to watch (and spend money on) soccer will support the team? Maybe a smart marketing move, considering well-known Chivas de Guadalajara already features the Bimbo logo prominently on their own jerseys?
Can a corporation brand itself well enough in a new country and language to overcome a pejorative meaning of its own name?
As a white guy who grew up in the country, bimbo just has one meaning for me. But let’s be clear: I’ll probably still wear the jersey, even if it is partly to be funny.
Images: ksta.de, philadelphiaunion.com