More tangible fallout from the Penn State scandal: About six sponsors, including Cars.com, have pulled out of today's noon game on ESPN, and other marketers are asking the station not to air their ads anywhere near discussion of the matter. "I have multiple advertisers pulling ads from the ESPN broadcast," one ad buyer tells the Wall Street Journal.
GM and health insurer Highmark say they are reviewing their sponsorships, while other big names, including Pepsi and State Farm, have taken no action. Marketing experts note that it took several weeks for sponsors to ditch Tiger Woods, then another two years for some to return. "Unlike Mr. Woods, this story affects more than a family unit, it affects all moms and dads so it will take longer to repair the school's image," says the vice president of one sports marketing company.