SBD/March 15, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship

Nine Sprint Cup Series Events Currently Without Title Sponsors

Talladega Superspeedway's fall race is currently without a title sponsor
This year's 36-race NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule "includes nine races that currently have no sponsorship tie-ins," according to Kenny Bruce of Title sponsorship deals for the series' "more popular events can come at a significant cost, with high-end events thought to run anywhere from" $3-4M, while the "average cost for most Cup events" is about $1.5M. Each of the "seven races that had no sponsorship in early February of 2010 secured funding by the time their respective races were held." This year's fall race at Talladega Superspeedway is "coming out of a three-year deal with Amp Energy drink and is currently without sponsorship," but Talladega Chair Grant Lynch said that he "expects a company to come on board before the October event." Lynch also said that while "having a sponsor step up and put its name on a race can increase income for a track," that is "not the only benefit, given the association with the right type of sponsor." Lynch: "The outreach and the ability of having a sponsor that engages the sponsorship (is just as important). ... Certainly getting a sponsor that just wants the TV exposure and doesn't want to do anything beyond that doesn't really help you a lot as you try to sell more tickets." Bruce noted the Daytona 500 "has been without anything other than a 'presented by' tie-in for 50 of the 53 years it's been on the Cup schedule," and Daytona Int'l Speedway President Joie Chitwood said that he "doesn't see that changing anytime soon." Chitwood: "We have partners like Budweiser and GMS and COPD and Gatorade. We have great relationships. They have their names on other events, the Bud Shootout, the Gatorade Duels, things like that" (, 3/12).

MAKING HISTORY: History network yesterday announced a deal with Charlotte Motor Speedway to name the Memorial Day weekend NASCAR Nationwide Series race the Top Gear 300. The race will air nationally on ABC at 2:30pm ET on May 28 (History). SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL's Tripp Mickle reports the "one-year agreement, which sources valued at slightly more than" $1M, gives History "a chance to show its car-centered, reality show 'Top Gear' on the nation's largest video board." History officials said that the deal was "driven by the demographic fit it saw between 'Top Gear' and NASCAR, and the opportunity to show 'Top Gear' and other History Channel programming on the speedway's new, 80-foot-tall by 200-foot-wide Panasonic LED board." Mickle notes History in '07 did a series of track deals in order to promote the launch of its show "Ice Road Truckers" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 3/14 issue).
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