The recession seems to have slowed advertiser interest in sponsoring NASCAR teams and this 73353_racecars_iisituation is leading to some industry changes. According to a report in Sports Business Journal, many highly competitive cars and teams have a lot more space available than usual for 2010. To keep from reducing rates, some teams are trying to add more visibility for advertisers.

Sponsoring a NASCAR car or team involves a big commitment. For example:

  • Full season for a top team: $22-$25 million annually
  • Full season for a lower rung team: $8-$10 million annually
  • Single race for a top team: $500,000-$750,000

For much of the past decade, sponsors have lined up to secure a spot in NASCAR sponsorship but Brian Corcoran, executive vice president of Fenway Sports Group says “’[t]here’s inventory out there that no one ever expected to be available.” NASCAR teams find that they are selling sponsorship opportunities to marketers who are increasingly examining their own mix. For example, Allstate recently dropped its sponsorship of the Brickyard race in favor of increasing the budget for college football.

Strategies to ‘’hold the price” while improving service for sponsors include:

  • Additional space in industry magazines
  • Additional space on Web sites
  • More exposure on a track asset such as a scoreboard
  • More mention on radio broadcasts

Industry professionals don’t believe that new money will enter the sponsorship space for NASCAR teams but they hope that some marketers will realize that the best deals in a decade may be available for 2010.

[Source: Smith, Michael. Top NASCAR teams sweeten deals, SportsBusinessJournal, 11.18.09]