The University of Lincoln-Nebraska athletic department is dropping a sponsorship deal with TransCanada, after the tar sands pipeline company’s “Husker Pipeline” ad received angry boos at a Cornhuskers football game:
A highlights video for the Huskers’ 1978 conference championship football team appeared on the giant HuskerVision screen inside the stadium. When the logo for the video’s sponsor appeared at the beginning and end, people in the stands began booing.
TransCanada’s proposed Keystone XL pipeline is opposed by leaders in both parties in Nebraska, including the governor and both senators. Dozens of Nebraskans joined the civil disobedience protest in front of the White House last month to ask President Obama to stop the pipeline.
“We have certain principles regarding advertising in the stadium such as no alcohol, tobacco or gambling advertisements. We also avoid ads of a political nature,” Athletic Director Tom Osborne said in a statement. “Over the last two or three months, the pipeline issue has been increasingly politicized. Our athletic events are intended to entertain and unify our fan base by providing an experience that is not divisive.”
TransCanada has donated $137,000 in 2010 and $500,000 since 2007 to various non-profits in Nebraska.