Early Wednesday afternoon, the Sports Business Daily reported an NFL owner pulled an advertising deal he had with ESPN. According to the report, Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam is pulling Pilot Flying J’s advertising and sponsorship deal with the Worldwide Leader.
Haslam, the CEO of Pilot Flying J, made the move after ESPN filed an in-depth look at the dysfunction surrounding the Browns during Haslam’s tenure as the owner. Less than a month after the report showcased the inner workings of the Browns organization, Haslam ended Pilot Flying J’s partnership with the Worldwide Leader.
According to the report from the Sports Business Daily, Haslam and ESPN are working to “unwind the deals.” Here’s more from the report:
Pilot Flying J and ESPN are negotiating how to unwind the deals, which are believed to be worth low-to-mid seven figures annually.
…But sources said that the relationship was irretrievably damaged by a lengthy insider-style story on ESPN.com entitled “The Clash of the Cleveland Browns: How Hue Jackson, Jimmy Haslam and Baker Mayfield collided.”
Pilot Flying J, the nation’s largest chain of travel centers, had an extensive deal with ESPN’s college football coverage.
The company had agreements with Paul Finebaum and Laura Rutledge to endorse the brand.
Pilot Flying J was in the midst of a four-year deal with ESPN before ending the relationship.