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SBD/February 20, 2014/Marketing and Sponsorship
Rice's Marketability Threatened In Wake Of Assault Allegations, Release Of TMZ Video
Published February 20, 2014
STANDING BY RICE: Baltimore-based Carbiz Autos said that the assault charges surrounding Rice "will not change its business relationship" with him. In Baltimore, Ryan McDonald noted Rice has done ads for the company "for the past five and a half years." Carbiz Owner Evan Berney yesterday said that Rice is "currently under contract with the dealership and his ads will remain on the air" (BIZJOURNALS.com, 2/19). Also in Baltimore, Ryan Sharrow noted "among the largest" of Rice's marketing deals has been one with M&T Bank, where he "has been the face of the company’s TV, print and radio ads." Rice also "makes personal appearances on behalf of the bank." M&T has said that the deal is "on a year-by-year basis and had no immediate comment" (BIZJOURNALS.com, 2/19).
LEAGUE, TEAM LOOKING AT INCIDENT: In Baltimore, Aaron Wilson prior to the release of the TMZ video reported Rice's arrest "will be reviewed" by the NFL under its personal-conduct policy. Rice has "no history of off-field issues, which could work in his favor." That "doesn't necessarily mean he will avoid punishment, though, as first-time offenders have been suspended in the past" (BALTIMORESUN.com, 2/19). A Ravens spokesperson said, "We have seen the video, this is a serious matter and we are currently gathering more information." Ravens Owner Steve Bisciotti "declined to comment" (BALTIMORESUN.com, 2/19). Wilson appeared on "Mike & Mike" today and said, “A lot of fans that I’ve heard from, they are very upset about this. Some want him cut. Some want him to take time off until he deals with these issues. ... I think a lot of them are saddened by it and some are angry” (“Mike & Mike,” ESPN Radio, 2/20).
BRINGING IN BACKUP: In Baltimore, Matt Vensel reported Ravens DT Haloti Ngata "will replace" Rice tomorrow night at the ASPCA's Maryland-chapter kickoff party for its annual March of Animals event. An MDSPCA spokesperson said that it was "a mutual decision between the organization and Rice, because they didn't want to take the focus off the animals and the cause" (BALTIMORESUN.com, 2/19).