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Democratic National Convention Teems With Corporate Names

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (TheStreet) -- Democrats have kept a lid on corporate sponsors at this week's convention, but there are just as many here as were present at the Republican National Convention last week.

The DNC Committee press office forwarded a list of "corporate providers" after multiple email requests and a 24-hour delay. What it revealed was overlap with Republicans.

AT&T (T) may be the most visible corporate sponsor -- convention spokespeople officially refer to them as providers -- as every lanyard provided to delegates and journalists displays the AT&T logo next to the Barack Obama campaign logo. The telecommunications company was also on the Republican convention lanyards.

Two AT&T officials at a table set up near the entrance of the Time Warner Cable Arena said the company paid to be a provider. The AT&T table offers passersby battery boosters for iPhones, iPads and other electronics.

Microsoft (MSFT) is playing a significant role at the Democratic convention as it designed the voting systems for delegates to officially nominate Obama as the party's presidential choice.

Apple (AAPL), which wasn't listed as an official provider or sponsor for the Republican convention, has provided iPhones, iPads, iMacs and other laptops. Also offering laptops has been Hewlett Packard (HPQ). The printer giant is providing -- you guessed it -- printers.

The list shows Time Warner Cable (TWC) as the official provider of cable television, but the company also offers free Wi-Fi internet connection to mobile users. There was a fee at the Republican convention for the same service, which Bright House Networks hosted.

The lineup of household social brand names -- Google (GOOG), Facebook (FB) and Twitter -- are the three major engagement platforms for users who could not attend the Democratic convention.

Google hosts the YouTube page that has live-streamed the convention, and "provides advertising," according to the provider list. Google also has hosted a photobooth in the halls around the arena. The booth, not unlike Facebook's photo station in Tampa, Fla., enjoyed great attention as more than 40 people were lined up for hours Wednesday night to grab a snapshot.

Facebook said it "provides [a] social media platform to engage more Americans than ever in the convention," while Twitter "supports the convention theme of being the most open and accessible convention."

Twitter's provider explanation is virtually identical to what convention officials crowed in their opening statements at a press conference early Monday.

Months ahead of their convention, Democrats avoided referring to the football stadium where Obama would have delivered his acceptance speech by its proper name: Bank of America Stadium (BAC). The strategy elicited criticism that Democrats were trying to avoid association with corporations at any cost.

Obama will not speak at Bank of America Stadium Thursday night due to threats of severe weather.

He will speak, instead, at Time Warner Cable Arena.

-- Written by Joe Deaux in Charlotte, N.C.

>Contact by Email.

Stock quotes in this article: AAPL, GOOG, FB, HPQ, MSFT 

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