Strike Me Down
It was today announced that Northern Rock will continue to sponsor Newcastle for a further four seasons from 2010/2011. Apparently, the nationalised bank thinks that the deal represents an excellent commercial opportunity. “Brand awareness and promotion are important elements in the continuing development of the company which is in the best interests of tax payers”, the CEO lied.
When will these people get it? Was the £25m they’ve already pissed up the wall to prop up a club who get worse press than Kerry Katona for the last six seasons not wasteful enough in the circumstances? OK, so it pales in comparison to bankers’ bonuses, and one can understand why the bank, which started out as a North Eastern building society, backed the Magpies last time around, but having blimped into a national business one has to question the decision. Local ties went out of the window when we all acquired a piece.
The CEO’s corporate speak rankles. Do people have such short memories that they’ll be mesmerized by associations to a club who (Northern Rock hopes) are on the up? It sounds pious, but if the bank was looking for “brand awareness” then why not withdraw the funding and donate it to charitable causes? If you want to win our hearts, then send the money to Haiti. However crude, what better PR is there than that?
I suppose that I shouldn’t be surprised by a bank acting without class, especially when football’s involved. The two are match made. At least the latter might go belly up if Michel Platini follows through. The last word goes to Brecht, who hit the nail: “what is the crime of robbing a bank compared with the crime of founding one?”