SBD/Issue 204/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

Obama Campaign Declines BAM Racing Sprint Cup Sponsorship Offer

Obama Campaign Declines Offer To
Sponsor Car In Upcoming NASCAR Race
Bill Burton, a spokesperson for Barack Obama's presidential campaign, said that there "would be no sponsorship" of BAM Racing's No. 49 NASCAR Sprint Cup entry, according to Chris Jenkins of the AP. Burton: "The Obama campaign will not be sponsoring a car in the Sprint Cup series, though we will continue to look for ways to reach out to voters and convey Senator Obama's message of change." An SI.com report Friday stated that BAM Racing had presented the campaign a deal that would see it sponsor the No. 49 car driven by Ken Schrader at the Sunoco Red Cross Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono Raceway on August 3. Jenkins wrote it "would have been a fairly bold move within a sport whose competitors spend all year turning left on the track but tend to lean to the right politically" (AP, 7/11). In L.A., Kate Linthicum reported BAM approached the presidential campaigns of Obama, John McCain and "at least one third-party candidate about a sponsorship deal." BAM spokesperson Rhett Vandiver confirmed the offer, but said, "I don't know how far along the discussions are" (L.A. TIMES, 7/12). In Charlotte, Jim Morrill noted Obama "wouldn't have been the first presidential candidate to buy into racing," as then-U.S. Sen. John Edwards' (D-NC) political action committee in '02 "sponsored a dirt-track racer in Iowa" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 7/12). In L.A. Dan Neil wrote, "In one respect, this is too bad for Obama. NASCAR fans are famous for crazy sponsor loyalty. ... On the other hand, a losing outing for Obama's car -- and Schrader has as much chance of winning as Jesse Jackson has of getting the democratic vice presidential nod -- might actually hurt Obama with NASCAR dads" (LATIMES.com, 7/12).

McCain Attends Firestone IndyCar
200 At Nashville Speedway
CINDY MCCAIN: The AP's Teresa Walker reported McCain's wife, Cindy, on Saturday attended the Firestone IndyCar 200 at Nashville Superspeedway. McCain "visited with IRL drivers during their pre-race meeting and spent time talking" with driver Buddy Rice. McCain also took a lap around the track in the pace car, as well as visiting the garage, the inspection area and the officials' trailer (AP, 7/12). In Nashville, Jennifer Brooks reported McCain "lingered over" driver Danica Patrick's No. 7 car Saturday, hoping to meet Patrick, who she said was her favorite driver. McCain: "I admire her so much. She has really been a tough, tough racer and a great competitor and it's nice to see her succeed" (Nashville TENNESSEAN, 7/13).

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