Penn State Removes Sponsor Logos From Website
Sponsor logos, which were still being displayed on the Penn State Athletics' website as recently as Wednesday, have been removed from the school's sponsors page. Such a move may be expected as marketers cautiously watch the situation unfold and weigh their options.
Citing the child abuse scandal at Penn State, at least one major advertiser has taken action to distance itself. Cars.com has cancelled its sponsorship of two upcoming ESPN College Football Saturday broadcasts, ESPN SportsCenter reported on Thursday. The games involve Penn State against Nebraska this weekend and Penn State vs. Ohio State game next weekend.
"As a proud, longtime supporter of ESPN College Football, it's important to us that we're building our brand and raising the visibility of our advertisers in a way that celebrates the sport, the dedication of its student athletes and the many reputable universities that field teams," Cars.com said in a statement.
Meanwhile, Sherwin-Williams, which has sponsored Penn State press conferences as recently as last weekend removed their logo from Beaver Stadium's press room when interim coach, Tom Bradley, met the media on Thursday.
It seems others are taking a wait and see approach as the details of the case emerge. The recourse they will have depends on the sponsorship contract that was originally signed. Scott Rosner, professor of legal studies and business ethics at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, told ABCNews that some sponsors may not be able to exit from deals with the university unless their contracts included a "morals clause."
Nike which previously named its child day care facility after Joe Paterno and prominently displays its swoosh on PSU's uniform says it has no plans to change alter its relationship with Penn State as of yet.
"Our relationship with Penn State remains unchanged," a statement by Nike said. "We are deeply disturbed by the claims brought forth in the indictments. We will continue to monitor the situation closely."