SBD/April 10, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship

Lack Of Sponsorship Leads NASCAR To Cancel Annual Pit Crew Competition

Sprint had sponsored the pit crew event until deciding not to renew
The annual NASCAR pit crew competition, which has been a “staple of Sprint Cup All-Star weekend activities the past eight years in Charlotte, is going on at least a one-year hiatus due to a lack of sponsorship,” according to Jim Utter of the CHARLOTTE OBSERVER. The event “typically has been held on the Wednesday night prior to the all-star race.” With no sponsorship and time “running out before the typical date of the event at Time Warner Cable Arena, the decision was made to forgo the event this season.” NASCAR Senior Dir of Communications for Competition Kerry Tharp said that the league “hopes the event will return" as early as ’14. Sprint was the “most recent sponsor of the competition but elected not to renew this year.” Previous sponsors “included Motorola and Craftsman” (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 4/10). NASCAR.com’s Kenny Bruce reported Sprint in January “unveiled The Sprint Unlimited, taking over sponsorship of what had been” the Budweiser Shootout at Daytona Int’l Speedway. As a result, funding of the pit crew competition “would not continue” (NASCAR.com, 4/9).

BAD TIMING? In Orlando, George Diaz wrote the timing of the Sprint Cup Series NRA 500 at Texas Motor Speedway this weekend is “great if you are against gun control.” The timing is “awful if you are among the majority of Americans who believe some restrictions should be put in play.” TMS President Eddie Gossage said, “No one is going to force any NRA literature in your hands. No one is going to be making political speeches or anything like that. It’s going to be a race.” Diaz wrote it is “impossible to make the disconnect with the guns and politics while our nation’s leaders are caught in their own contentious crossfire over gun control” (ORLANDOSENTINEL.com, 4/9).

KEYSTONE PARTY: The June 9 Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway “will be named the Party in the Poconos 400 following the results of a fan vote sponsored by Walmart.” The winner was chosen after “more than 1,600” names were suggested (AP, 4/9).
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