216-202, House Saves Military Sports Sponsorship
By a vote of 216-202, the House defeated an amendment last night by Jack Kingston, R-Ga., and Betty McCollum, D-Minn. that would have eliminated sports sponsorships from the $608 billion defense bill. Current sponsorship spending for armed forces recruiting flows into sports like NASCAR, NHRA, bass fishing and mixed martial arts.
The AP reports that strong opposition from delegates in Southern states where many of these sports are most popular including North Carolina, Mississippi and Florida.
In recent days, NASCAR, IZOD IndyCar Series, National Football League, Major League Baseball and the National Basketball Association had all come together to write a open letter asking Congress to defeat the bill.
"In 2010, the Army's recruiting efforts at NASCAR events resulted in 46,000 qualified leads," the leagues wrote. "Similarly, the Services branches' partnerships with the National Basketball Association, National Football League, Major League Baseball and the IZOD IndyCar Series have created numerous points of contact, such as at games and local community events and online, to engage with young adults on the possibilities and rewards of military service. The benefits from these types of sponsorships offset the minimal costs to taxpayers."