Bailed-Out Banks Won't Bail on Sports Sponsorships

Gaudy expenditures anger public, Congress
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 25, 2008 11:06 AM CST

(Newser) – Citibank is getting billions from taxpayers and cutting thousands of jobs, but it's not canning its 20-year, $400 million deal to dub the New York Mets’ new stadium “Citi Field.” Such big advertising deals are coming under the microscope—and have critics crying foul, ABC News reports. “This type of spending is indefensible to Citigroup’s new partner and largest investor: the American taxpayer," fumed one lawmaker.

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AIG, beneficiary of a $150 billion rescue, is paying $125 million to put its logo on Manchester United’s jerseys. “They should put ‘US Treasury’ on the front,” joked a watchdog-group representative. Banks say the deals actually drive revenue by building their brand. But some marketers disagree. The naming deals are “ego driven” says one. “It’s a complete and utter waste of money.” (Read more advertising stories.)

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