Military Spending On Sports Sponsorships Coming Under Fire
A ban on military spending on sports sponsorships is in a defense spending bill that will come up on the floor of U.S. House in coming weeks.
The military will spend about $80 million on sports sponsorships, meant to spur recruiting, this year. Critics like Rep. Jack Kingston, a Georgia Republican who co-authored the ban, question whether sports spending is an efficient use of marketing dollars. He’s cited a National Guard official says that the Guard’s $26 million sponsorship of Dale Earnhardt Jr. produced 28,715 “qualified leads” but only 20 of those qualified and none actually enlisted.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution quotes Earnhardt’s response to Kingston’s efforts to ban millitary sports sponsorships: “The Republican from Georgia, he hasn’t even been to a NASCAR race.”
The military facing broad future cuts, has already cut sponsorship spending $16 million this year. Besides motorsports, military spending on sports has gone to the NFL, ultimate fighting, bass fishing and even here in San Antonio for the U.S. Army All-American Bowl game.