|State Farm Insurance to Drop Penn State Sponsorship Following Sex Scandal|
Wednesday, 25 July 2012 12:17
State Farm Insurance is in the process of dropping its sponsorship of Penn State University’s football program, including its stadium and radio advertisements.
Arlene Lester, a spokeswoman for the U.S.’s largest automobile insurer, said the decision was made following the child sex scandal and ensuing coverup involving former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky and school officials.
The National Collegiate Athletic Association punished the school yesterday by levying a $60 million fine, banning it from postseason play for four years and reducing the number of scholarships it offers football recruits by 20 a year. A school- commissioned investigation led by former Federal Bureau of Investigation Director Louis Freeh found that former coach Joe Paterno and other school officials tried to cover up the abuse.
“We think this is the best thing to do right now to show our support for the victims,” Lester said. “We’ve been having this conversation for quite some time. It was not tied to the Freeh report or the NCAA sanctions.”
Lester said State Farm is only canceling its football sponsorships. It will continue its other ads with Penn State, including the men’s basketball team, and will continue to sponsor college football nationally.
Lester said she didn’t know how much the company spent on the football sponsorship.
Penn State’s athletic department earned $55.2 million from royalties, licensing, advertisements and sponsorships for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2011, according to school documents.