Bank of America is changing the name of the Bank of America 500, scheduled for Oct. 17 in Charlotte, to the far less awkward "NASCAR Banking 500 only from Bank of America." Banks receiving federal bailout money, such as Bank of America, have been criticized by lawmakers and others for attaching their names to sporting events, stadiums and sports advertising. A spokesman for the company said the attempt to downplay the bank’s name was "not in the least" an attempt to downplay the bank’s name.
Bank of America has received $45 billion from the Treasury Department’s Troubled Asset Relief Program.
According to Reuters:
Citigroup Inc, which also took $45 billion of bailout funds, has been criticized for a 20-year, $400 million naming rights pact it signed in 2006 for Citi Field, the new ballpark for the New York Mets baseball team.
Wells Fargo & Co, which took $25 billion of bailout money, in February dropped the name of newly acquired Wachovia Corp from a PGA golf tournament in Charlotte, but called it the Quail Hollow Championship rather than put its own name on it.
Lawmakers also faulted Northern Trust Corp., which took $1.5 billion of bailout money, for spending at a southern California golf tournament it sponsored.
Bank of America 500 race changes its name in NASCAR (Reuters)