SBJ/December 10 - 16, 2007/This Weeks News

There’s value in being seen and heard

NASCAR races have long served as highly visible exposure opportunities for corporate America.

Company logos appear on cars, drivers and pit crews. The names of those same companies are mentioned by TV broadcasters throughout the race and, postrace, by the drivers themselves. Still additional placement comes with the various on-screen graphics seen during a broadcast.

But what’s the monetary value of these exposures?

Getting an answer to that multimillion-dollar question is at the heart of SportsBusiness Journal and SportsBusiness Daily teaming with Kansas City-based sponsorship measurement firm Image Impact this year to capture and assess more than 96,000 sponsor impressions through NASCAR’s 37-race Nextel Cup Series schedule, including the Nextel All-Star Challenge.

Four automakers joined Nextel, Lowe’s, and DuPont among the top brands in NASCAR.

The results, appearing on this page and the two that follow, mark one of the most ambitious sports sponsorship exposure projects ever published. Nearly 400 sponsors were tracked, analyzing primary and secondary car and driver partners, all race venue signage, and the myriad graphics and audio mentions from the races’ TV broadcasts. Tertiary sponsors on driver and pit crew uniforms and on the quarter panels of the race cars were not reported.

Image Impact’s proprietary software provided analysis of the video feeds from each race. Each race broadcast was broken down and evaluated for all brand detections that occurred on screen and were clear and in-focus for at least one full second. Each of those individual detections was then evaluated based on its duration, average size, location and relative isolation (or lack thereof) from competing brands: Was the logo a featured image on the screen or was it shown among other sponsors?

Because location and clarity significantly affected the measured value of each detection, quantity did not always translate into increased value. Also, for the purpose of summary calculations, each audio mention was assigned a duration of five seconds.

Here’s an example. During the Nextel All-Star Challenge, Lowe’s received credit any time it was mentioned in the context as a sponsor of driver Jimmie Johnson and if its logo was clearly visible on screen via placement on either the driver or the driver’s car. The home improvement company also received credit as a “venue sponsor” any time the name of the host track, Lowe’s Motor Speedway, was uttered, or if a Lowe’s billboard at the track appeared on screen.

Ultimately, a monetary value for each sponsor detection was calculated based on a formula combining all these factors and the rate-card price of a 30-second spot for each specific race. Those results, including leaders by sponsor, network and driver, can be seen here. For more, see

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