However, as fun as it may be to watch stuffed shirts paying the proverbial piper, the ripple effect is going to prove far less amusing. To illustrate what are probably the early stages of a vast, trickle-down nightmare, here's a quote from the New York Times detailing the impact that the Big Three crisis and nationwide economic downturn are having on the sports industry:
General Motors said in September that it wouldn’t buy any advertising time for the Super Bowl in February; earlier this year, it withdrew Cadillac’s sponsorship of the Masters golf tournament. It has also terminated its $7 million-a-year endorsement deal with Tiger Woods.
The National Basketball Association and the National Football League recently announced staff layoffs, and the Dallas Cowboys and the New York Giants and Jets of the N.F.L. are still trying to find companies willing to pay to put their names on stadiums under construction. Honda said recently that it was dropping out of Formula One and selling its team.
See? It's like a giant, invisible Rube-Goldberg machine, where things build and build to create one spectacularly unpleasant effect. Which only goes to show that mom was right, after all: everything's fun and games until someone loses a NASCAR sponsorship. -- Richard Read