U.S. military may cut sports sponsorships
July 4, 2012
TheHill.com reports that the House of Representatives will vote on whether military sponsorships in NASCAR and other sports including the UFC will continue. It appears that there will be a political battle on whether sports sponsorships will remain in the military’s budget.
A similar measure failed to pass the House Appropriations committee last year. The measure seeks to cut the Pentagon’s $519 million base budget and some would like to cut sports sponsorships. The argument for cutting sponsorship ties is the belief that its sponsorship is not leading to new recruits. The military sponsor proponents argue that the sports sponsorships are an important way to build up its brands and it does attract recruits.
A vote will take place after the July 4th holiday.
The budget fight boils down to one of the basic questions of sponsorship: Does it work? Certainly, the National Guard and US Marines are targeting the correct demo of young males but the issue is whether the sponsorship is achieving its goal of garnering recruits. It would be interesting if this measure includes the WWE considering how much the WWE is involved with the US military including its annual visit to the Middle East during the holidays (this is usually made into an NBC network special). If the military cuts sports sponsorship, it would be a huge blow for the UFC more than NASCAR. At this point, the UFC is continuing to build a blue-chip list of sponsors and losing the Marines would be disappointing.