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SBD/June 27, 2012/Marketing and Sponsorship
Matt Kenseth Leaving RFR After '12; Lack Of Sponsorship A Possible Reason
Published June 27, 2012
MONEY TALKS: RFR President Steve Newmark said sponsorship issues “really wasn’t a factor” in Kenseth leaving. Newmark: “It’s more of a reflection of just the way Roush Fenway has built itself and that Jack has always placed an emphasis on driver development and Matt has been the beneficiary of that.” However, ESPN's Dale Jarrett said the move from Kenseth to Stenhouse “is financial” because Stenhouse “is not going to be paid what Matt Kenseth was going to." Jarrett: "You have to believe that money was involved at some point in time here” ("NASCAR Now," ESPN2, 6/26). ESPN.com’s Terry Blount wrote the "sad truth in NASCAR today" is no matter "how good a driver is, even a former champion who leads the standings, it won't save him if he doesn't have a sponsor.” RFR Owner Jack Roush, “with some help from Ford, has been footing the bill out of his own pocket.” That gets “old, and empty, in a hurry at the Cup level,” but this "just looks awful.” Kenseth is a “quiet man, with a surprising dry wit that he shows every now and then, but he's not exactly a walking billboard for potential sponsors.” It may be “easier for the RFR marketing department to sell a handsome, young, single guy like Stenhouse to corporate America than it is a milquetoast old dad like Kenseth” (ESPN.com, 6/26).