Thursday, July 19, 2012
The House put the brakes on a bill that would've banned military sponsorship of sports organizations like NASCAR and Ultimate Fighting Championship. The Pentagon sponsors these organizations as a means of recruiting new troops.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports the measure by Georgia GOP Rep. Jack Kingston was narrowly voted down Wednesday night.
Kingston told the AJC he wasn't necessarily surprised House members voted the way they did after hearing testimony earlier in the week from NASCAR supporters:
"We got lots of conversations from people who were receiving the money about how pro-military they are. And I guess if you're getting $25 million a year from the military you'd be pro-military, too. I think there are cheaper ways to rent your friends."
Not surprisingly, the folks at NASCAR were quite pleased with the turn of events. Spokesman Marcus Jadotte released a statement that read in part:
"Sports sponsorships work. They remain a critical part of the marketing mix for a host of other big, consumer-facing brands like the U.S. Armed Forces. Leaving marketing decisions like these in the hands of a select few members of Congress is misguided."
The failure of the bill is sort of a moot point as far as one branch of the service is concerned. The U.S. Army announced earlier this month it will no longer sponsor NASCAR vehicles at the end of the racing season, citing budget concerns.
I've posted a video of two Sporting News reporters debating both sides of the bill. Good stuff. Take a look up top.