SBD/September 11, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship

NAPA, 5-Hour Energy Reviewing Relationship With MWR Following NASCAR Sanctions

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Clint Bowyer's sponsor 5-Hour Energy is reviewing its relationship with MWR
Two of Michael Waltrip Racing’s sponsors are “reviewing their relationships" with the team following its "attempt to manipulate the finish" of Saturday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond Int’l Raceway, according to Jenna Fryer of the AP. NAPA Auto Parts today posted on its Facebook page that it is "disappointed that a partner would make 'such a significant error in judgment.'" NAPA is the sponsor for Martin Truex Jr., who was “kicked out of the Chase for the Sprint Car championship when NASCAR sanctioned MWR for its actions in Saturday night’s race.” Fellow MWR Driver Clint Bowyer’s sponsor 5-Hour Energy “tweeted it is reviewing its sponsorship relations internally” (AP, 9/11).

NOT ENOUGH? In Toronto, Dean McNulty wrote of the penalties levied against MWR, "My immediate reaction was 'Is that all?'" The effect of the "whole thing was to discredit NASCAR and MWR has done it in spades." NASCAR President Mike Helton "should have suspended the entire MWR organization from racing for the rest of the season." MWR Owner Michael Waltrip "should have been banned for life from NASCAR" (TORONTOSUN.com, 9/10). In Greensboro, Ed Hardin wrote in the "old days, back before Twitter and Toyota, this would’ve been handled on the track." It used to be "about money and putting food on the table." Now is "about perception on ESPN" (NEWS-RECORD.com, 9/10). ESPN's Marty Smith said NASCAR "wanted this to be a company-wide penalty that really damaged" MWR. Smith: "If that's the case, then why is only one person suspended right now, Ty Norris the General Manager?" ("OTL," ESPN, 9/10). SPORTS ON EARTH's Matt Crossman writes, "NASCAR officials have a long and glorious reputation of bringing bazookas to knife fights and knives to bazooka fights." Sometimes they "shrug like Bud Selig," sometimes they "go all judge, jury and executioner like Roger Goodell." They did "both in this case" (SPORTSONEARTH.com, 9/11).
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