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U.S. Speed Skating Finds Sponsorship In The Strangest Places

by: JamieD On  Wednesday, November 4, 2009

stephen colbert us speed skatingAfter DSB Bank NV declared bankruptcy, the U.S. Speedskating team was left to suffer as they had just seen their largest annual cash sponsor abandon them.

With their pockets empty and their palms raised in the air looking for some type of financial support, their calls were answered by the most unlikely of sources.  Now, when they make their way down the final stretch on the Vancouver ice, you can expect to see the words “Colbert Nation” printed alongside the red, white, and blue of the American flag.

This past Monday, Stephen Colbert of Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report” announced that his show would become the primary sponsor of the U.S. Olympic Speedskating team, stating that their popular catchphrase “Colbert Nation” would be placed on the team’s uniforms for the 2010 Olympic Games.

“On their enormous, billboard thighs, it will say, ‘Colbert Nation,”’ Colbert said in an interview before Monday evening’s taping. “Be looking for that logo as it comes around the final turn. It will be easy to see because it will be in first place.” [CTV]

Odd indeed, but it isn’t the strangest sponsorship deal we have ever seen.   While many may see this as a big joke, members of the team feel that any publicity is good publicity, or in this case, great publicity.

“I personally love Comedy Central + The Colbert Report,” (Apolo Anton) Ohno said in an e-mail to The Associated Press. “Any attention the sport can get is going to be beneficial. I’d like to see how creative they can get! I’m game to do a skit about it :-)”

So how much will Colbert and the people at Comedy Central be giving these speedskaters?  Well nothing really, but instead they will be turning to the people of “Colbert Nation” to support their athletes.  Colbert has called on his followers to donate money to the team through www.colbertnation.com or www.usspeedskating.org.  He has done this before with great success when his promotion of the Yellow Ribbon Fund, a charity assisting injured service members and their families, helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars.  Now the likes of Ohno, Shani Davis and Chad Hedrick will hope for the same.

Hat Tip – [CTV]




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