Congratulations! You're sponsoring a soccer team!
I wrote previously about how increased oil prices meant that you (and I) made it possible for the royal family of Abu Dhabi to purchase Manchester City soccer club.
Thanks to the recent nationalization of AIG, for the nominal risk exposure of $85 million billion, we (well, American taxpayers) are now sponsoring Manchester United!
AIG is in the middle of a four year deal to pay Manchester United a shade over $100 million to have their logo on the shirts of the Red Devils. Since the team are seen in games televised to millions if not billions of people world-wide, this seemed like a decent deal when AIG actually was entirely solvent.
Manchester United is not the only team to have sponsorship woes. Newcastle United's shirts have the logo of Northern Rock, a building society (bank-a-like) that had to be bailed out by the UK government last year. Given Newcastle's recent legacy of crap management, this is a thematically appropriate sponsor. West Bromwich Albion doesn't have a sponsor at all, and West Ham's shirts have patches over the logo of their sponsor XL, a travel company that went spectacularly bankrupt last week, stranding pallid British tourists all over Europe.
Incidentally, one English team has taken a different path: Aston Villa, owned by American billionaire Randy Lerner, has gone from donating to Acorns Hospices (for dying children) to putting Acorn's logo on the team's shirts as a free advert for fundraising purposes.This is rare, but not unheard of: Barcelona was the last major team to put a logo other than the team crest on a shirt, and they made it Unicef's.