SBD/September 26, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship

Quicken Loans To Sponsor Ryan Newman For 12 Races In '14 RCR Car

Quicken Loans' 12-race deal gives Newman a primary sponsor for 36 events
Quicken Loans will "serve as a primary sponsor for 12 races" for NASCAR driver Ryan Newman in '14 as the mortgage company will "move with Newman from Stewart-Haas Racing to Richard Childress Racing," according to Bob Pockrass of SPORTING NEWS. Newman is replacing Jeff Burton, who "announced earlier this month that he would leave RCR at the end of the year because the team did not have full sponsorship for him." Caterpillar, which sponsored Burton in the No. 31 car for 24 races this year, will "return for the same number" in '14. The 12 races from Quicken Loans "gives RCR almost a fully funded season for its No. 31 car as there are 38 events (including two non-points events) expected to be on the 2014 schedule" (SPORTINGNEWS.com, 9/25).

READ & REACT: Pockrass wrote NAPA leaving Michael Waltrip Racing "might be a sign" that NASCAR "needs to have a sponsor-relations reaction plan when it knows sanctions could have long-reaching effects." It "certainly wasn’t NASCAR’s goal to have MWR lose sponsors." The penalty of removing Martin Truex Jr. from the Chase for the Sprint Cup was "severe, and it appears that is at least part of the reason sponsor NAPA walked." When NASCAR issues penalties to teams that "could damage sponsor relationships, it needs to go into marketing overdrive to explain why it made that decision." NASCAR’s fan and media engagement center "should be able to tell sponsors what the pulse of fans is quickly because it gathers data from a variety of social media sources." It should "have data that can inform sponsors whether what they’re seeing on message boards is just a few angry trolls or their target customer." This is "not to blame NASCAR for the loss of NAPA or the angry reaction" from 5-Hour Energy President Scott Henderson. But whether it is a "penalty action plan to help a team retain a sponsor or more talking points to mitigate the public perception of a race team, NASCAR and its teams can learn from the 'ripple effect' of this episode when a hefty penalty is issued" (SPORTINGNEWS.com, 9/24).

LOOKING TOWARD THE FUTURE: Race team owner Chip Ganassi yesterday debuted the Ganassi TV YouTube channel and discussed the future of the NASCAR. Ganassi said, "The entire face of the sport is going to change in terms of who is in the grandstands in the next 10-20 years, so it's obvious we need to bring on new people if we have any future at all." Ganassi said that when he was 15 years old, "all I wanted to be was 16 because our car was our freedom." However, that "freedom that these young kids have today is looking at their phone." Ganassi: "We need to show them that the car can still be a piece of freedom and that motorsports is a real sport. It's a very, very popular sport in the U.S. but we need to attract … that young fan." The sport "needs to make their experience" at a race event "just like any other great sporting event they go to" (YOUTUBE.com, 9/25).
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