Giants Stadium: Possible Sponsor Allianz And Ties To Nazis
CNBC Sports Business Reporter
There's an interesting angle that's emerged in the current controversy over the possibility that the new Giants Stadium will be sponsored by German insurance company Allianz.
CNBC has learned that Casey Wasserman, the CEO of the Wasserman Media Group--the company that is selling the naming rights to the stadium that the Giants and Jets will play in starting in 2010--is on the board of a Holocaust remembrance organization.
Wasserman is one of 25 members of the USC Shoah Foundation Institute Board of Councilors listed on the organization's web site. His grandfather Hollywood mogul Lew Wasserman, who passed away in 2002, is listed as an honorary co-chair in memoriam.
The foundation, which has an archive of more than 50,000 videotaped testimonies of Holocaust survivors and witnesses, started working on the project thanks to funding from Steven Spielberg, who directed "Schindler's List" in 1993, and the Lew Wasserman Foundation.
The controversy is about the fact that Allianz insured various aspects of Nazi business during World War II and had a chief executive who served in Hitler's cabinet.
While the New York Timesand the New York Daily News have published articles about the topic, it's not clear how much the public is offended by Allianz' past ties. A New York Daily News online poll reflected that people are evenly split over how much of its past should be brought into the naming rights discussions.
Other companies that clearly supported Nazi Germany such as BMW and Deutsche Bank have not come under nearly as much scrutiny when they have sponsored sporting events, including golf tournaments.
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Allianz is believed to be one of a couple of suitors to secure the stadium naming deal, which could be sold for more than $20 million a year.
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