NASCAR, more than any other American sport, will contort its product to meet the needs of its sponsors, especially considering how few are left. Therefore, when America rose as one and demanded banks stop spending frivolously on marketing to try to get more customers to help increase their business, banks dove as one for cover. Citi Field? Shame! Chase Field? Horror!
(It’s Claritin clear what’s going on here)
This, of course, explains the newly renamed NASCAR Banking 500 only from Bank of America (from the Bank of America 500). The fall race in Charlotte (at the morally acceptable Lowe’s Motor Speedway) might as well rename the banks in each turn “inclined financial institutions” just to see how gullible the public truly is.
And yet this isn’t close to the worst obfuscation NASCAR had to deal with this week…
Massachusetts Representative Barney Frank is one of the most powerful politicians in the country, serving as head of the House Financial Services Committee. And lately, he’s been one of the more outspoken critics of banks receiving bailout money paying big bucks for corporate sponsorships, complaining to the NEW YORK TIMES about Citigroup’s 20-year, $400 million stadium naming deal with the Mets that “marketing expenses should be for real marketing, not ego boosts, which is what I think naming rights are.”
Which is a reasonable position to take; I don’t know if I agree with his assessment that no one “has ever opened a bank account or decided to buy a CD because a bank’s name is on the stadium” - if that’s the case, why do any marketing at all - but it’s a valid point. Of course, when you read Darren Rovell’s column on CNBC today, you start to get a sense that his motives might not be so pure.
The definition of giant, swinging, I-don’t-give-a-sh*t-what-you-think balls: spending millions of dollars to sponsor College Bowl Games when you’re receiving handouts from the government. Anyone reading this should be pissed beyond belief that our dollars are being spent in order to make sure announcers can’t call it the Rose Bowl, but “The Rose Bowl Game Presented By Citi.”
There’s also the Capital One Bowl. Or the GMAC Bowl. The Pioneer Las Vegas Bowl brought to you by Bank of America. The EagleBank Bowl. And who could forget the Roady’s Humanitarian Bowl sponsored by U.S. Bancorp. All sponsorships cost millions, and all from companies who screwed up so badly they had to take millions and billions out of taxpayers’ pockets.
Sufficiently furious yet?
, Bank Of America
, Capital One
, Capital One Bowl
, Eaglebank Bowl
, Eagle Bancorp
, Gmac Bowl
, Humanitarian Bowl
, Pioneer Las Vegas Bowl
, Rose Bowl
, Scott Garrett
, U.s. Bancorp