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Weird Sponsorship Deals Are Being Terminated

Tuesday, 17 Mar 2009 | 2:24 PM ET

So one of the crazy things about the economic downturn is that all-of-a-sudden you start hearing about these strange sponsorship deals that are now being undone. We didn't know many of these existed in the first place, but they're certainly fun to hear about now.

Today, Reuters reported that Anheuser-Busch was ending its sponsorship of the National Hot Rod Association. And that's not even the weird one I'm talking about.

Last week, I learned from the Tyler Morning Telegraph that Anheuser-Busch was ending its 12-year, $15 million sponsorship with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

Huh?

The story goes on to say that the partnership was created by Augustus Busch III, who was a supporter of conservation organizations and he liked what they were doing in Texas.

Can you imagine the folks at InBev in Belgium looking at this line item: "TEXAS PARKS AND WILDLIFE FOUNDATION."

Since 1996, any bass that weighed over 13 pounds would be donated to the department's hatchery program. Budweiser paid most of the bills to support that program, the paper reported.

In today's business environment, deals like this that really can't support a documented return on investment are going to go away. And trust me, there are a lot of deals like this still out there that will be terminated.

Questions? Comments? SportsBiz@cnbc.com

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