Here’s a great piece from Daniel Howes of the Detroit News on how the post-bailout national mood is making things difficult for event sponsors–especially those sponsoring the Final Four in Detroit. Nut graph:
Are the dollars that Comerica Inc. or GM — both TARP recipients — committed and paid more than a year ago to support the local Final Four committee “taxpayer” dollars? No, but given the AIG-fueled hysteria of the past few days and Washington’s reaction to it, would the facts matter?
Probably not as much as you’d think. Here we have yet another example of the law of unintended consequences run amok: A marquee event that will showcase Detroit and could prove a good marketing opportunity for corporate sponsors instead becomes a nerve-wracking weekend that can’t be over soon enough.
I’ve said this before, but there’s nothing untoward about sponsorships, even when a TARP recipient is footing the bill. It’s advertising–a legitimate business expense. It’s not a Dennis Kozlowski toga party. It bears repeating: the fact that certain businesses are now on the dole doesn’t mean we want them to stop functioning as businesses.