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$6.8 million in the context of the US defence budget doesn't seem that big a deal to me - that's a rounding error in terms of the Pentagon recruitment budget (which appears to be in the range of low tens of billions).

NB I'm not trying to be pro-military - just noting that armed forces everywhere need to recruit and they will have to spend money to get their message out there and a football game seems as good a place as any. I've seen military sponsorship of school level rugby games here in the UK.

its not so much the amount of money spent but the propaganda nature of the activity. As said by senators involved in bringing this to light, most people would assume it was being done to support soldiers not as part of a remunerative arrangement, as the National Guard also said they work well as a recruitment tool. In any other format the fact that something is a paid advert (when it is designed to look like normal programming/article/editorial) usually has to be clearly stated. This is nothing of the sort.

Surely it's propaganda regardless of whether the state is paying for it or not?

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