Bank spokesman Joe Goode said the Charlotte, N.C.-based bank declined to renew the four-year sponsorship under the terms of the previous agreement, which covered 2004-2008. The inability to generate sufficient business results is what led to the decision, Goode said. The deal generated around $12 million to $15 million from 2004 to 2008 for the U.S. Olympic team.
The bank remains in discussions with the USOC on exploring alternative ways to continue its support of the U.S. Olympics, he added. The bank will continue to support Chicago's bid to host the Olympics in 2016 in the form of grants for operating expenses.
Goode called it a "terribly difficult decision" that wasn't related to increased scrutiny of bank marketing, the government's investment in the bank or the slumping economy.
General Motors Corp. and Home Depot Inc. previously ended their USOC sponsorship deals, and numerous companies have slashed sports marketing budgets to cut costs during the recession.--Tanya Irwin