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Sports Marketing

2009 March 12
by Skip Sauer

This article is about a talk given by CEO of Bank of America Ken Lewis, to a group at Boston College. Most of it is about bank solvency, the TARP, etc. From our perspective, the stunning thing in the article is the following claim:

Lewis also addressed bank marketing activities involving sports.

“I’ll admit that it’s easy to be skeptical about the business value of multimillion dollar marketing contracts with sports teams,” Lewis said. “And, obviously, there are lots of business executives who just really enjoy having access to teams and athletes.”

Lewis said he’d rather spend time in the mountains with his wife.

Nevertheless, he said for every dollar the bank spends in sports marketing, it gets $10 in revenue and $3 in profit.

The cynic in me wonders if that sort of profit calculation is what left Bank of America with a treasure chest full of toxic assets. The slightly less cynical view is that, if sponsorships are so darn profitable, a) why didn’t the Mets get even more out of the naming rights to Citi Field, and b) why is there so much worry about the threat of businesses not renewing their sponsorship deals?

Makes you wonder if one can trust anything a banker says these days…

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