SBD/May 8, 2014/Marketing and Sponsorship

National Guard's Motorsports Sponsorships Focus Of Congressional Hearing

National Guard has sponsored Dale Earnhardt Jr. for a number of years
The National Guard spent $26.5M to sponsor Hendrick Motorsports' NASCAR team in '12 to "bolster its marketing and recruitment but failed to sign up a single new soldier to its ranks," according to data cited in a front-page piece by Tom Vanden Brook of USA TODAY. Even though the Guard spent $88M as a sponsor of HMS from '11-13, it is "unclear how many new recruits, if any, signed up because of it, according to documents." The Guard yesterday "would not confirm the figures on prospects and recruits developed through its NASCAR sponsorship." U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) today is holding a hearing on the Guard's motorsports sponsorships, which also includes a $38M spend in IndyCar from '11-13. McCaskill said the Guard was "wasting a bunch of money on a very expensive sports sponsorship." Documents show the Guard in '12 received 24,800 recruiting prospects who "indicated the NASCAR affiliation prompted them to seek information on joining." But "only 20 met the Guard's qualifications," and "none joined." Briefing materials for today's hearing showed that the number of prospects associated with NASCAR in '13 dropped to 7,500. The Guard's deal with Hendrick was for 20 races a season (USA TODAY, 5/8).
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