GM May Pull Out Of Daytona 500 Sponsorship

If you needed more proof that the recession is cutting deep into sports sponsorship, here’s your sign: GM, the struggling car maker that needs any good media it can get, appears likely to end a decades long sponsorship of NASCAR’s greatest race, the Daytona 500. Yup, a car maker may stop sponsoring a car race. Pretty dismal.

jimmy johnson on fire

(That’s not Jimmie Johnson en fuego … it’s GM rushing from Daytona.)

According to the DETROIT NEWS, the carmaker that has been the official car and truck provider of Daytona Speedway since the early 1970s is in talks about a new sponsorship deal to replace the current agreement that ends Dec. 31st. Yet there isn’t significant optimism about signing a new deal because of cash-strapped GM’s need to adhere to strict regulations in order to qualify for the federal funding they’ve been lobbying for over the past month as part of a financial bailout.

“We don’t comment about our business discussions,” GM spokeswoman Jan Thomas said.

If you thought that sounded ominous, listen to the quote from Daytona speedway spokesman Andrew Booth: “I know we’ve had some talks with them but right now, we are continuing to explore opportunities,” he said. “We don’t comment on our prospects.”

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Will Money Woes Make Phoenix Coyotes Extinct?

Last week we mentioned that the recession appears to be hitting the NBA hard, with attendance down almost across the board and the league seemingly teetering towards a full-blown crisis. It’s no surprise then that if the NBA is hurting, then the NHL must really be suffering.

Empty NHL arena

The GLOBE AND MAIL reports that the Phoenix Coyotes are hemorrhaging money at a rate of $25 to $35 million a year, and could be facing a sale or - even more ominously - possible bankruptcy. Owner Jerry Moyes has already tried to sell the team back to his former partner but was rebuffed. And a statement by an NHL official is hardly the equivalent of Jim Cramer screaming “BUY! BUY! BUY!” at you:

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