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Penn State Football Scandal Causes Drop in State Farm Sponsorship

penn state football scandalFollowing the findings of the NCAA pertaining to the Penn State football scandal, the Nittany Lions are probably going to suffer even more losses in the future.

As if a $60 million sanction, four-year postseason ban, loss of scholarships, a vacation of 111 wins under the late Joe Paterno, and a five-year probationary period weren’t enough punishment, the football program and University seek to lose corporate sponsorships in the coming weeks as well. Since the NCAA’s decision, State Farm has removed itself from advertising during Penn State’s home games in Happy Valley. Despite the Penn State football scandal, the longtime insurance provider will still deliver sponsorship campaigns during the Nittany Lions’ away games.

“We will not directly support Penn State football this year,” State Farm spokesman Dave Phillips said Tuesday, July 24 to the Associated Press. “We just feel it was the best decision.”

Additional Effects of Penn State Football Scandal

State Farm distancing itself from the PSU football program could potentially start a spiraling trend of other sponsors removing themselves from the scandal, according to Kevin Adler, founder of Engage Marketing, Inc.

“I think the public perception is pretty clear and definitive at this point. That brand is damaged beyond the point of short-term repair. It is the sponsorship partner’s obligation first and foremost to look after the health of their own brand,” Adler said to the AP last week. “None of the sponsors owe Penn State anything.”

So far, though, the University appears to be holding onto its other sponsors, but only time will tell how long those relationships last. According to Pepsi spokeswoman, Gina Anderson, the company is still standing by Penn State in spite of the NCAA’s ruling.

”We are deeply disturbed by the findings of the investigation and the conduct of certain individuals at Penn State University, but will continue to honor our longstanding contract as a campus beverage provider,” a statement that was issued by the company said.

Additionally, General Motors and Pittsburgh-based PNC bank are two more sponsors who are still maintaing their ties to the University following the Penn State football scandal.

Photo Credit: AP

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