Value of Army’s $11 million sponsorship of UFL is questioned

There are deep and obvious connections between football and the military. The UFL has leveraged that reality into a prominent sponsorship deal with the U.S. Army.

But is it a good deal for the Army?

Steve Beynon of recently took a look at the pros and cons of the deal. The Army is paying $11 million to the UFL.

Beynon writes that “internal data” shows the UFL sponsorship will result in only 160 to 891 recruits.

Beynon also quotes from various memos from officials who questioned the value of the deal. Beynon reports that the arrangement became “finalized after a push from Gen. Randy George.” He’s the Army’s chief of staff, and he reportedly pressed for the deal “despite the officials around him warning against the idea.”

“The goal with this and any of our partnerships is to bring about a lasting change in how the Army is perceived by the American public,” a spokesperson for the Army Enterprise Marketing Office said in a statement issued to Beynon. “We want to show America that the Army is a great place to find your purpose and become the best version of yourself.”

Still, some think the deal was done simply because folks within the Army power structure were smitten with league co-owner Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

“This stunk of old ways of thinking and the Army just wanting to get The Rock in the room and get him in an Army shirt once in a while,” an unnamed official told Beynon. “I think some people in charge got starstruck, and because of that we blew millions.”

Eleven million, to be exact.

Ultimately, those are taxpayer dollars. If, in the end, the $11 million investment will result in fewer than 900 recruits, it’s fair to ask whether it really was worth it?

And, if not, why did they do it?

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