Before I begin let me say I know about competition in the business world. Advertising is what drives the business. But now with NASCAR losing more and more sponsors, shouldn’t their be limits set.
Winston was the Corporate Sponsor, (the main sponsor who buys the naming rights), for 32 years, (1971-2003) Winston Cup rang in all NASCAR fans ears. Although they were not allowed to advertise their own product on racing cars, they continued to just use the name WINSTON CUP, still the name was linked with cigarettes. With R.J Reynolds owning the naming rights, non R.J. Reynolds cigarettes were not allowed to sponsor cars. This was before the ban of CIGARETTE advertising from being on Racing vehicles. From 2004 to 2007, Nextel held the rights and a special exception had to be made to allow Cingular/AT&T to run out their contracts. Beginning in 2008 Sprint has been the naming rights owner.
What we end up with is in reality advertising censorship. Verizon’s sponsorship is up and will take their approximately $17 million dollar motorsport budget to the IndyCar series. This because of a clause in the naming rights contract that prohibits any company competes with SPRINT from sponsoring a car. I understand that because we are not talking pennies when we talk about naming rights. But let’s look at other sides. CRAFTSMAN sponsored the truck series for years. Yet I saw other wrenches being used. I think I even saw a SnapOn sticker somewhere. Should not all trucks have used CRAFTSMAN tools. No other names like on tool boxes, etc. The Corporate Sponsor’s name is the most prominent name. Just as SPRINT is the prominent name. To tell you the truth I didn’t even realize VERIZON sponsored a car. If the USPS (United States Postal Service) were to become the Title Sponsor, we would lose UPS (United Parcel Service), and FED-X.
I know I’ve been all around the subject. Now to the point.
In this economy owners are scampering to find sponsors to keep their cars competitive. We have less cars trying to qualify. Less cars means less competition. Less competition means less interest, etc. I can give you an excellent example of sponsorship.
I played Softball and coached softball for many years. Our city has a population of about 15,000 people, counting the children. At one time we had; I want to say about 7-9 men’s leagues. Women had 5-7 leagues. Each men’s league had 7-10 teams. Each women’s league had 5-7 teams. We had no problem finding businesses to sponsor our teams. They paid our league fees and bought us shirts. Sometimes they paid for us to play in tournaments. As time went on our league fees went up. Now we are lucky to have 4 men’s league with maybe 5 team each. The ladies are way down too. Now we buy our own shirts with the sponsor’s name on it, and have to pay our individual memberships, and usually make up the difference for team sponsors. Ours is not that we have a Title sponsor. It is the cost has gone up so much, business is down and can no longer afford this little gesture of community involvement. Big business is in the same boat. Why handicap the racing teams by eliminating sponsors. We have what 5-6 Cell phone companies that even if they could afford to sponsor a car is barred from doing so.
Less sponsors, less cars, etc. Many of the cars are using multi main sponsors for different races. Can NASCAR afford the loss of revenue?
That Is How I See It.
PS. Excuse my rambling this is a hard subject for me to put across.