SBD/July 7, 2014/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Top NASCAR Teams Form Alliance To Collaborate On Cost-Cutting Efforts

The top teams in NASCAR have united to form Race Team Alliance, a business association designed to improve revenue and save costs for Sprint Cup teams. The Race Team Alliance includes Chip Ganassi Racing, Hendrick Motorsports, Joe Gibbs Racing, Michael Waltrip Racing, Richard Childress Racing, Richard Petty Motorsports, Roush Fenway Racing, Stewart-Haas Racing and Team Penske. MWR Owner Rob Kauffman has been elected the group's Chair. Kauffman said that the organization was designed to bring teams together for the first time to improve revenue and cut costs. He said that one of the things they have discussed is looking for a hotel sponsor for all the teams, so that teams could reduce their hotel and travel costs. Another possibility might be to find an airline partner that would allow teams to move away from the private aircraft they currently use for races. Kauffman: "Everybody brings a bunch of people to different cities throughout the year and puts them in hotel rooms. Wouldn’t it make sense to pull room nights together and put a (request-for-proposal) together and get someone like Marriott to be an official hotel partner and provide room nights? Wouldn’t that be a good idea? Of course it would. We now have the machinery in place to do that and are tons of other things we can do." The organization is the first of its kind in NASCAR where teams are independent owner-operators and not franchises. On Twitter, some motorsports writers questioned how teams that compete on the track could collaborate off it, but most U.S. professional sports leagues are made up of teams that compete on the field and collaborate on business matters. Kauffman said, “The key word is collaboration.”

MORE TV REVENUE FOR TEAMS? Kauffman said that the teams have not discussed the way NASCAR splits TV-rights revenue or the possibility of creating a franchise system for NASCAR teams. Both are issues that have been raised independently in the past. NASCAR, which will begin a new, 10-year TV deal in '15 worth more than $8B, currently splits the revenue under a formula developed in the early 2000s that gives tracks 65%, teams 25% and NASCAR 10%. In recent years, team owners like Kauffman’s partner, Michael Waltrip, have questioned whether or not the portion they receive is fair. NASCAR has been adamant in past years that the split won’t change in the future, but NASCAR Chair Brian France this weekend raised the possibility that it could, saying, “We are rethinking that a little bit, and in particular with the Nationwide teams, as well. But that'll be something that we will consider and we will look at to make sure that the appropriate values are where they need to be.” Kauffman said the TV split is “not really within our parameters. ... It’s an issue that affects teams, but it’s not something teams can control. Our priority is dealing with our own issues.”

JOINING FORCES: Though the Race Team Alliance is the first association of its kind in NASCAR, it is not the first time teams have come together in motorsports. F1 teams came together in '06 to form the Formula One Teams Association. The organization has represented teams in budget-cap negotiations and collectively bargained their share of TV revenue. Kauffman said that is not the direction that the Race Team Alliance wants to take. He said, “This is about collaboration. The association’s plan is to stay on the high road. Things beyond (our) control are best not to focus on. The business model of team ownership could be improved, but it is what it is. No one forces you to (own a team). What the team alliance is about is team owners working together. Richard Childress said it best: Teams need to help themselves.” NASCAR Chief Communications Officer Brett Jewkes in a statement said, “We are aware of the alliance concept the team owners have announced, but have very few specifics on its structure or purpose. It is apparently still in development and we’re still learning about the details so it would be inappropriate to comment right now. NASCAR’s mission, as it has always been, is to create a fair playing field where anyone can come and compete. Our job is to support and strengthen all of the teams, large and small, across all of our series and we’ll continue to do that. NASCAR is a unique community with hundreds of stakeholders. They all have a voice and always will.” Meanwhile, Kauffman said the Race Team Alliance will hire some staff to assist in putting out request-for-proposals and working with the teams. He expects the staff to be lean and work with member teams on initiatives. He also said that the organization hopes to add other Sprint Cup teams as members in the future. Kauffman: “The ink is just on the by-laws. We’re just starting out.”
Return to top
Video Powered By - Castfire CMS Powered By - Sitecore

Report a Bug