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SBD/August 7, 2014/Marketing and Sponsorship
National Guard Pulling Sponsorship Of Earnhardt Jr. In NASCAR, Rahal In IndyCar
Published August 7, 2014
TOUGH BLOW FOR INDYCAR TEAM: The National Guard in its statement said that motorsports is "not the only marketing arena to suffer under reduced budgets." The AP's Jenna Fryer noted Earnhardt "has won three races this year" when the National Guard was his primary sponsor. Meanwhile, Rahal "only landed the guard this season after a prolonged battle with Panther Racing, which had the sponsorship in IndyCar" from '08-13 (AP, 8/6). In Indianapolis, Curt Cavin writes the National Guard's exit from motorsports "was no surprise." That the sponsorship was "coming to an end in motor sports started about the time Congress started squawking about the budget." The IndyCar money is "less than half of the NASCAR money, but it's twice as important to the team involved." HMS can "leverage association with Earnhardt, the most popular driver in U.S. racing," while IndyCar's Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing team has a driver "with one career win and television ratings that are only a few drops in NASCAR's bucket." From "this side of the sport, it's a significant blow" (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 8/7).