If Anheuser-Busch wanted to drop its sponsorship of the NFL, it potentially could without penalty. According to ESPN, the brewer's $1.2 billion contract with the league states it could end the deal in writing if a "league-wide" event turns into a "scandal".
A local distributer, who works with Anheuser-Busch, said sponsors certainly have the right to pull out. Losing sponsors has the potential to be a make or break situation.
"Associations with sponsors bring sports to people," Arch Beal, President and General Manager of Beal Distributing Inc., said.
Beal's company distributes Anheuser-Busch products. He said we willl need to see how this NFL turmoil plays out, but said League heads shouldn't be surprised if they lose their backers.
"If we don't support those entities, they aren't going to exist. I mean, they just can't count on public support. They need corporate support to get to where they are," Beal said.
Even so, Beal, who is also a 2014 Republican candidate for District 12 of the South Dakota House of Representatives, said companies should not necessarily police these situations.
"I would prefer, seriously, to let the teams deal with those people, and if the public doesn't like how they dealt with it, then don't go to the game," Beal said.
Though company heads need to look out for their bottom lines, and address serious situations -- including what has happened with Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson -- Beal said they also need to be cautious about ending business relationships.
"Somebody else will be right there to take the spot. They don't necessarily have a great deal of openings -- we fight for that spot. We fought to be the NFL prime beer sponsor," Beal said.