When you see soldiers participating in ceremonies on the field during New York Jets games, it’s not just because the team appreciates the military.
It’s part of an arrangement worth $115,000 a season between the Jets and the New Jersey Air National Guard “for advertising and promotion,” according to records released Thursday.
The expenditures were made public Thursday by Arizona Republican Sen. Jeff Flake, who, in his #PorkChops series, reveals what he considers “egregious and unnecessary waste of taxpayer dollars.”
“This will probably stand as the biggest Draft Day bust for the Jets until 8 p.m.,” Flake said in a release.
Records show that the New York Jets in 2013 and 2014 were awarded a $115,000 contract with the Department of Defense.
A 2013 statement of work document from the Army’s procurement contracting site reveals details of the arrangement between the New York Jets and New Jersey National Guard.
In return for $115,000 for advertising and promotion during the 2013-2014 football season, the Jets agreed to provide a number of services:
- The Jets agreed to kick off home games with a New Jersey National Guard video, while letting four soldiers participate in the pre-game tunnel when players entered the field.
- The Jets agreed to hold a sweepstakes that required users to like the New Jersey National Guard’s Facebook page.
- The jets agreed to let the New Jersey National Guard serve as a presenting partner at the Jets Inaugural Back to Football 5K, which included advertising at the event and free tickets for soldiers to participate in the run.
- The Jets agreed to advertising for the New Jersey National Guard during every home game.
- The Jets agreed that during its military appreciation game in December 2013 that 40 soldiers would participate in pre-game ceremonies, including an honorary captain for the coin toss. The New Jersey National Guard also was allowed to have an on-field enlistment ceremony for at least 50 soldiers.
- The Jets agreed to also let the New Jersey National Guard join the Jets for a charity event to build or refurbish a community asset “for recruiting and retention purposes.”
- The Jets agreed to provide 35 game access passes to soldiers, access to their training center for events and participation in three other game day activities for the New Jersey National Guard.
The Daily Caller has put in a request for comment with the National Guard.