SBD/Issue 184/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

Wal-Mart In Talks With NASCAR About Potential Sponsorship Deal

Wal-Mart Believed To Be Exploring Opportunities
With Hendrick Motorsports And Its Drivers

Wal-Mart is in "deep discussions with NASCAR team and league officials about a wide-ranging deal that has both sponsorship and licensing implications," according to Lefton & Smith of SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL. While "several scenarios are being considered and the talks remain fluid," sources said that Wal-Mart is "discussing the potential of a direct license that would make it NASCAR's exclusive retailer in the mass merchandise space." A direct license "would give Wal-Mart the ability to select its suppliers and set prices for certain categories, such as hats and T-shirts." Wal-Mart is "believed to be exploring sponsorship opportunities with Hendrick Motorsports as well." Analysts note that Hendrick's Sprint Cup Series drivers -- Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Mark Martin -- "account for close to 75 percent of all licensed sales in the sport," making it a "logical team for Wal-Mart to sponsor." Securing Wal-Mart as part of an exclusive mass merchandise deal "would be a significant coup for any sports property, especially if it entails a NASCAR store-within-a-store concept" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 6/7 issue).

RAPID RELEASE: SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL's Michael Smith reports Tylenol "will not renew its official partnership with NASCAR." Tylenol has been NASCAR's official pain reliever since the start of the '07 season and its current deal runs through the end of the '10 season. A spokesperson from McNeil Consumer Healthcare, Tylenol's parent company, said that it "has already notified NASCAR that it won't continue its official partnership" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 6/7 issue).

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