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Fake high school sports sponsorship scam targeting Utah businesses

The Utah Department of Commerce is warning investors to be aware of scams that capitalize on fear and uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus. (Photo: Shutterstock)

Salt Lake City, UT — The Better Business Bureau is telling Utahns to watch out if they’re looking into sponsoring a high school sports team. The BBB says there’s a Texas-based company called Sports Media Marketing that is selling fake sponsorship packages for real schools.

There have been many reports from Utah-based companies impacted by Sports Media Marketing or one of its affiliated companies.  One business owner spent thousands of dollars for a sponsorship with American Fork High School, but then saw none of the promised marketing at a game he attended.

The sponsorships would have allowed businesses to put their logos and names on t-shirts, banners and other school spirit items with the promise they’d be prominently displayed at sporting events.

The BBB says the company runs a very sophisticated operation using multiple companies to make transactions from personal accounts, so it is difficult to block them.

Sports Media Marketing is connected to four separate companies; Boost Sports Integrative Media LLC, Touchdown Sports, All American Advertising, and High School Sport Advertising.

Within the past 19 months, the BBB has received 41 complaints and negative customer reviews against the company. The complaints allege a total loss of nearly 20-thousand dollars.

The BBB’s multiple attempts to contact Sports Media Marketing have been unsuccessful.

They recommend that, if deciding to purchase advertising from a business, Utahns consider these tips:

  • Verify the legitimacy of the fundraiser. Contact the beneficiary of the fundraiser to ensure the advertising company is authorized to solicit on their behalf.
  • Ask additional questions. When will the advertising be placed? When will it be available for the public to see? Will a copy of the advertisement be provided.
  • Get everything in writing. Request that all advertising propositions, charitable appeals, requests for business information and sales pitches of any type be made in writing.
  • Avoid committing on the spot. Take down the name, telephone number and address of the business or organization offering the ad space. Research the company. Avoid falling for high-pressure sales tactics or offers that are only good for a limited time in an attempt to get you to commit on the spot.