Sponsors Behaving Badly
by Lynn Berenbaum | February 20th, 2009, 5:21 pm

It’s been a bad week for tennis scandal. Beyond the whole Dubai debacle, the sports world lost an estimated $100 Million in sponsorships. The details of its affects on tennis are starting to roll in now.

When he wasn’t lying about his genealogical ties to Stanford University or macking on dude’s wives in right front of them, lying about how much money he gave (or didn’t) give to children with cancer, and laundering money through a Mexican gang, R. Allen Stanford was a generous patron of tennis.

SFG sponsored a lot tennis, with cash and deals flowing into the ATP, the Outback Series, the Andy Roddick Foundation, and the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami.

Employees of Stanford Financial Group are reportedly telling investigators to follow the sports marketing money. That can’t be good.

Last night, the ATP “terminated” Stanford as their investment adviser, which one would guess means cutting all ties to the company. Alternatively, the Outback Champions website is chock full of Stanford logos, and they’ve been silent on the whole matter thus far. No word out of the Roddick Foundation either.

The tournament director of the Sony Ericsson Open, owned by IMG and taking place next month, however, said the event plans to keep Stanford signs in place until there is a compelling reason not to do so and honor its contract.

Really? How much more “compelling” can it get?

We’ll see in the coming weeks.

For now, IMG’s got other troubles with the Stanford scandal though, having wrapped big PGA names like Tiger Woods, Vijay Singh, and Arnold Palmer into money management and endorsement deals.

According the NY Post, “Stanford’s alleged fraud could cost IMG north of $10 million in fees, as well as any clients who got burned in the scandal.”

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7 Comments for Sponsors Behaving Badly

Henry Says:


I don’t know Stanford personally, but I do know he heads a 50 billion dollar operation and that he and two others and three of his companies have been under investigation since Tuesday. He and the 3 SFG companies are accused of an 8 billion dollar fraud. Notice the word “accused”. Nothing has been proven yet. This means there is at least another 42 billion portfolio that’s not under investigation. He is not on the wanted list, there are no arrests warrants out, he has not been hiding and nobody has lost any money yet. So, until somebody comes up with proof, let’s not jump to any conclusions.
Don’t forget the SEC was caught sleeping in the Bernard Madoff 50 billion dollar Ponzi fraud scheme case and did not act on numerous whistleblowers’ accusations, so now the least they have to do is act and show they are alert. If only they would have done that in the Madoff case….
I agree with you that it doesn’t look good, but at the same time I thought everybody was innocent until proven guilty. So, let’s just wait and see and let’s have some hope – for all those investors’ sake and for tennis’ sake – that maybe it’s not all as bad as it looks.

tenisbebe Says:

The tournament director of the Sony Ericsson Open, owned by IMG and taking place next month, however, said the event plans to keep Stanford signs in place until there is a compelling reason not to do so and honor its contract.

They have to honor the terms of the contract or forfeit the funds. Given the state of tennis sponsor $$ right now, that’s probaly a wise thing to do.

jane Says:

Off topic (again, because no related thread!) – Von, Roddick came through, but Leyton gave him a good fight hey? Wow. I am surprised in a way, but I guess Hewitt wants to make that hip surgery worth it! Now it’ll be Andy and Step again!!

Von Says:


I just saw the results and am so happy. I could tell from the scoreline Hewitt was really pushing Andy. It seems Hewittt won the first set and the second was a tiebreak, then I suppose he ran out of something in the third. Hewitt’s a fighter all right.

Andrew Miller Says:

Is Nadal just a better Hewitt??

Terrible sponsors. I hope the ATP and WTA sign up some better sponsors because all of these guys are threatening to do damage to the hard work of the players.

tenisbebe Says:

Think I’m more concerned about the potential losses from invested $$, although this will be a blow for the Outback Series in particular. Have to see on the other.

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