Dodge Sponsors `The Civil War'
PORTLAND - For decades, it has been known simply as "The Civil War." Now, the bitter rivalry between Oregon and Oregon State will have something new added to its nickname - a corporate sponsor.
In a deal yesterday that will pay the schools $1.4 million over four years, all sports competitions between the Ducks and Beavers will officially be known as "The Civil War, presented by your Northwest Dodge Dealers."
Athletic directors of the schools made the announcement in front of a new Civil War logo that puts the Dodge ram between the snarling Duck and Beaver. They acknowledged purists may not like it, but said it is a reality in an era of increasing sports budgets and corporate tie-ins.
"It's not a situation that will be palatable to everyone," said Tim Roberts, regional manager for ESPN/Oregon Sports Network. "But it boils down to economics. We have a $28 million sports budget and it's mostly funded by outside sources. We have to be creative."
Oregon State Athletic Director Mitch Barnhart, whose department sunk $8.2 million in debt last summer, made no apologies for the Civil War sponsorship or the move earlier this month to sell the naming rights for Parker Stadium to food magnate Al Reser in exchange for a $5 million gift.
"You've got to look to do anything you can to move your program forward with class," Barnhart said.
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