USA today has been given figures that show that the National Guard have failed to sign up any new recruits as a result of their sponsorship of NASCAR racing. They invested $26.5 million in 2012 to sponsor the events meaning that they totalled $88 million for 2011 to 2013. Documentation has shown that it is unclear as to how many recruits have signed up as a result of this or even whether any were influenced by it. The Guard themselves were reluctant to come up with any figures as to how many recruits had signed up.
There will be a hearing held by Sen. Claire McCaskill D-Mo to find out whether there has been any result from the sponsorship which she has declared is a waste of money. According to figures there were 24,800 recruiting prospects from the 2012 program and they indicated that it was the NASCAR sponsorship that enticed them to find out more information about signing up. Out of those it was reported that only 20 were eligible to try out and none of those ended up joining. In 2013 there were far less propects with just 7,500 being reported. The National Guard jas a goal of 50,000 recruits each year and they have to get 1 million leads in order to reach this figure.
McKaskill will be investigating the NASCAR sponsorship which enables the Guard to put its logo on the team’s car for 20 races and have mobile recruiting bays at tracks as well as be part of the Race-2-achieve recruiting efforts in high schools which is NASCAR affiliated.
A spokesman for the National Guard, Rick Breitenfeldt explained that 90% of Army National Guard soldiers enlisting between 2011 and 2013 stated that they had seen information about joining the Guard through NASCAR related recruiting. He explained that by sponsoring the event as well as the driver Dale Earnhardt Jr it means that 77 million fans get to see the Guards name. He explained that the world is media driven and so it is important for them to be part of this. Marketing research claimed that when Earnhardt won the Daytona 500 it generates millions of dollars worth of advertising for the Guard. Other parts of the armed forces no longer use NASCAR for advertising but as they appeal to the 18-35 age group that they feel NASCAR also appeals to.