Sunday, July 09, 2006

And it has come to pass

Just as Spot predicted. In a front page above the fold story, the Sunday StarTribune tells of the new ways that TCF Bank will infect the body and soul of the University of Minnesota as a result of the stadium naming-rights deal that it got with the U and the State of Minnesota.

Here's what the State Senator for the the district in which the University is located said:
State Sen. Larry Pogemiller, DFL-Minneapolis, who opposed the naming-rights deal when legislators approved the $248 million stadium this spring, has a different view [from the shining Babbittry of TCF]. "It's clear the market value of a land-grant university has been put up for sale," he said.

Indeed it has. Here are just some of the things that TCF gets according to the article:
• Provide TCF exclusive access to the names and addresses of 236,300 alumni and season ticket holders so it can market new debit cards.

• Put the TCF Bank Stadium logo on everything from tickets and stadium menus to service worker uniforms and stadium maintenance vehicles.

• Allow TCF to solidify its position as a dominant banking institution on campus, and potentially push two competitors -- US Bank and Chase Manhattan Bank USA -- out of key locations.

Other perks were granted to the bank.

They include making available for free the head football coach, the school's "Spirit Squad" or the Goldy Gopher mascot to TCF for appearances. The university also pledged to pay the expenses for the bank to fly four people to one Gophers away football game a year, and give the bank a 16-seat "prime location" suite at all home games. [italics are Spot's]

Terrific! Go out for the cheer squad so you can shill for a savings and loan! Be Goldy and get to wear a neat sweater with a TCF logo! Well, at least they'll get some cheer squad applicants from the ranks of aspiring bankers at the biz school!

When the U was putting itself on the market, did it pursue other offers. Naw, it was pretty much an exclusive deal for TCF:
While [the University's general counsel and principal soul-seller] Rotenberg said the university was not obligated by law to seek naming-rights offers from other banks, another document outlined potential costs of doing business with anyone other than TCF.

In assessing an offer from Wells Fargo, the document stated that "increased exposure by Wells Fargo" could diminish money paid to the university by TCF from existing business arrangements. The document also warned of a possible "TCF legal challenge."

In other words, TCF said to the University: We get it or we sue. Kinda takes the shine offa Bill Cooper standing smiling with U President Robert Bruniks and our boy Senator Geoff Michel (a principal sponsor of the TCF bill), doesn't it? Where indeed do we get people like these?

This deal will stand as a monument to bad legislative judgment and the triumph of pure hucksterism. To TCF and the Legislature, and the University, Spot says a pox on all your houses.

Tags: The sold its soul to with the help of

Parody art by Ken Avidor

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