The United States House of Representatives voted yesterday (June 13) on an Amendment to House Resolution 1960, better known as the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014, that would have prohibited any funds authorized in the bill from being used to sponsor Army National Guard professional wrestling sports sponsorships or motor sports sponsorships. This would have meant the end to the WWE and NASCAR’s sponsorship deals.
Luckily for Vince McMahon and his promotion, the Amendment was easily defeated, 290 votes to 134.
The WWE and National Guard have had a close relationship over the past few years, with the promotion quick to point out soldiers sitting in the front row of shows. This association has certainly been beneficial for the WWE, as a boost of patriotism has never hurt sales.
And apparently the money has been good as well.
Rep. Betty McCollum, a Democrat from Minnosota who co-sponsored the amendment, had some very harsh words over the National Guard’s dealings, stating “the fact that $53 million in taxpayers’ funds is going to sponsor some of the most violent and sexist entertainment on television… that results in zero recruits is a waste of money.”
WWE has had a close relationship with the National Guard, with the military branch even having its own spot on the promotion’s website. It’s no secret the WWE has been so steadfast on it’s PG rating because of sponsors. With a United State Representative calling out the company for its raunchy history, it is probably a good thing for the WWE’s bottom line to keep the Attitude Era in the past.
Despite the harsh criticism, the House felt the money had been a good investment and voted down the Amendment, with Richard Hudson, a Republican from North Carolina, citing the addition of over 400,000 soldiers since the Army National Guard “embark[ed] on a more robust use of professional sport sponsorships in fiscal year 2007.”
What do you think? Do you think the United States should be spending money on sponsorship deals such as this, or do we have better things to worry about?