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“Anybody involved in the sports world is having to defend the money they’re spending in terms of what kind of return on investment they’re getting,” Vogel said. “It’s making people think differently about the issue. They’re having to become more creative, more thoughtful.”

The biggest impact on the sponsorship side may come in the area of naming rights, in which companies routinely have agreed to long-term deals worth as much as $20 million a year. In recent years, large banks, including PNC Bank, Citizens Bank and Bank of America, have paid handsomely for such sponsorships, but that trend is expected to cease with the troubles in the financial sector. Experts said the new wave of stadium sponsors may come from the technology or electronics sectors, while others said more energy companies could enter the fray.