The American economy is in a bad state at the moment and this situation has affected businesses in all industries all across America – and the Nascar teams and their race cars are no exception. The Nascar teams aren’t getting those high budget phone calls from sponsors any more and even solid Nascar teams are feeling the financial pinch. This is exactly what Jeff Gordon said, “”It’s a scary time right now. We see strong teams struggling to get sponsorships”
Tony Stewart is also learning just how tough the situation is. He cut off from Joe Gibbs Racing in June so that he could start his own Nascar team. He has managed to fetch sponsorships for his own race car from Office Depot and Old Spice but he is finding it ever so hard to rake in the money for his team fellow’s race car Ryan Newman.
Tony said that the United States army has agreed to sign for a year to sponsor team mate Newman (who also won the Daytona 500) – that still means that Tony has to look for sponsors for thirteen more races. Tony says “I feel like with the economy the way it is right now, we’re right in line with where we need to be”, he adds, “”It’s more important to take the extra time and get the right people than to just get people.”
The state of the economy has the potential to destroy small Nascar teams that are built by independent race car owners and who very heavily depend on sponsorships in order to race.
The US army has pumped in a total of $16 million dollars in sponsorships for Nascar. Team No.01 which will cloth itself in US army colors, Nascar team No.54 will wear the stars and stripes of the National Guard, Busch’s race car will be painted in the colors of the US air force and Jon Woods truck will be sponsored by the Navy.
The race car tracks are even doing discounts and concessions by offering hot dogs and sodas along with the tickets. On the other hand it would be hard also for fans to pay the price for a Nascar ticket and witness only a sub-standard performance by their favorite Nascar teams and race cars.
Unilever is a big sponsor and it has brands like Lipton, Klondike ice cream, Hellmann’s Real Mayonnaise, etc – Unilever is set to be on the Nascar team No. 5’s race car, Chevy for 10 races in the year 2009 that would be driven by Dale Earnhardt Jr., Landon Cassill and Mark Martin. In the past the Unilever brands have been displayed on the Nascar team No. 9’s Dodge which is owned by Gillett Evernham Motorsports and driven by Elliott Sadler, Kasey Kahne and Chase Miller – this program has been a smashing success, according to the Director of Unilever.
Nascar and Nascar teams are a very good market for Unilever even in these trying and testing times. So this is one positive glimmer of light as far as sponsorships are concerned for Nascar race cars.
As Nascar racing fans it is the people’s duty to buy Nascar tickets and show up for the events. This will inspire confidence in the corporate world and will push them to dig deep into their pockets in the next Nascar season. No matter how the economic situation is, there is this gut feeling that Nascar racing is going to be a smashing success this season and once this season is done and over with, the sponsors will be back with their check books in the next season. Good luck, Nascar – Keep the engines running.