If a different company steps forward to sponsor the developers, then it shows they are interested in the development and want to influence it. These metrics are presented because they are often quite insightful especially if you are able to see the bigger picture over a period of time.
The single kernel release statistics are themselves useful as well but for other reasons. It is a matter of how well you use the data. If everybody worries about how things can be potentially misinterpreted, nothing will get done. Everything is aware that metrics such as these have that potential. Nothing new can be said about that.