SBD/Closing Bell

Army Marketer Cites ROI Considerations For Exit From NASCAR

The U.S. Army remains committed to sports sponsorships, but it opted to sever ties with Stewart-Haas Racing after this season because it was not seeing enough of a return on its investment. John Myers, chief marketing support element for the Army Marketing and Research Group, which does recruiting advertising for the Army, said the Army will continue to sponsor the NHRA and entitle the annual high school football game known as the U.S. Army All-American Bowl because both of those sponsorships provided a good ROI, which for the Army is based in part on recruiting leads.

Myers said that the Stewart-Haas Racing sponsorship, which cost the Army $7.4M for 15 races last year, was "an expensive investment" and ending it was "quite simply a return-on-investment decision." He added, "It has nothing to do with Stewart-Haas Racing, per se, which has been a very, very strong partner the past four years. We'll repurpose those dollars against other programs that our metrics show yield better results."

In addition to the NHRA and All-American Bowl, the Army will continue to spend its marketing budget on social media initiatives, mobile marketing, TV and digital advertising. Myers said that a recent move by U.S. House leaders Jack Kingston (R-Ga.) and Betty McCollum (D-Minn.) to amend the defense budget to prohibit sports sponsorships was not a factor in the Army's decision. The Army's marketing budget will remain flat next year.
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