In the past 24 hours, there has been a lot of discussion about the image of chess players. Is there a link between this and major sponsorship for chess?

How many chess players have endorsement contracts? How many tournaments have multimillion dollar sponsorship deals?

Some gave the examples of athletes in other sports. Let’s examine that. Do people like Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Roger Federer, Andre Agassi, Maria Sharapova dress in jeans and T-shirts and look like they have not showered in 3 days when they make appearances at public events?

I agree that male chess players do not always have to wear suits and ties. Slacks and blazers are fine. They do not have to wear their jackets while playing. They can take them off and put them on their chairs. But I do not agree with the idea of players coming to some of the most prestigious chess events in the world with jeans and T-shirts.

The players have the right to wear anything they want unless the organizers set their rules in advance and many do. However, do not expect to potential sponsors to line up waiting to give you money if the players are not marketable.

In addition, the dress code is just a small aspect of it. There is also the ability to communicate properly, the ability to interact with the fans and the ability to work with the sponsors, etc. All of these aspects are important when it comes to attract sponsors to our sport.

What is your take? Let’s talk sense please. Let’s not use the typical rhetoric to make an argument.

If you feel that it is better for the players to look sloppy, please tell us why?

If you feel that it is better for the players to look proper and clean, even without suits and ties, please tell us why?

If you own a multimillion dollar company and you are looking for chess players to be spokespersons, which would you choose? And why?

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Chess Daily News from Susan Polgar
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