Monday, December 01, 2008

Subsidizing professional sports

So now that we're officially in a recession, let's talk sports!
There's been rumblings here and there about how sports might be affected by the then "bad economy." The NCAA has asked schools that need to cut teams because of crunched budgets NOT to blame Title IX in the process. Some are wondering if attendance at events might be affected--probably given that the rise in costs associated with attending a sporting event have risen well above the rate of inflation.
But let's talk corporate for a sec. All this bailout money to all these corporate giants has many people pissed--to say the least. What might piss you off more? If there is any tightening of belts--it isn't happening in the area of corporate sponsorship.
Citibank has no plans to get out of its 20-year naming rights contract with the NY Mets. The in-big-trouble financial institution is paying the Mets $400 million so they will call the field Citi Field. And insurance company AIG continues to pay Manchester United to put the AIG logo on the team's uniforms.
GM though did dump the quite expensive Tiger Woods from its roster of celebrity endorsers, in an attempt to cut costs. Maybe NOT getting bailout money IS a good thing. Certainly made GM cut some fat.
The efficacy of sponsorship and naming rights has always been questionable and now, more than ever, these practices are coming under increasing scrutiny.

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