ARTICLE

In hindsight, Iowa president Mason likely wouldn't renew beer company deal

Revenue isn't worth the backlash, president says

University of Iowa President Sally Mason. (Brian Ray/The Gazette)
University of Iowa President Sally Mason. (Brian Ray/The Gazette)

If she had it to do over again, University of Iowa President Sally Mason would not likely renew the UI’s contract with Anheuser-Busch because of the backlash caused by the beer company deal.

“I’m not sure it’s worth the revenues we’re getting for our athletic department,” Mason said at a taping Friday for Iowa Public Television’s “Iowa Press.” “I probably would reconsider. More than likely not even do it.”

The UI has been fighting its party school image for years and has tried to push the message of “safe, responsible, legal,” Mason said. That seemed to fit with Anheuser-Busch’s pitch for drinking responsibly. But recently the UI’s Tiger Hawk logo appeared on posters advertising drink specials at Iowa City bars – a move not approved by the university.

“We didn’t mean to send a mixed message,” Mason said. The posters have been removed, but the damage is already done, she said.

“If they’re not going to be sticking to the agreement, I’m a lot less likely to renew it,” she said.

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