For the second time this year a major sponsor is substantially leaving a race team and moving its’ sponsorship activation in a more business-to-business area.
Roush Fenway Racing lost its’ second full-time sponsor when UPS announced that it would be leaving the #6 Ford Fusion, currently, driven by David Ragan.
The logistics and package delivery company will be the associate sponsor on Carl Edwards’ #99 and primary sponsor Kentucky Speedway in 2012.
And UPS will continue its’ role as NASCAR’s official pick-up and delivery company for the sanctioning body.
“We are always evaluating ways to refine and enhance all of our sponsorship programs to ensure they are aligned with our business strategy and objectives,” explained Ron Rogowski, UPS vice president of sponsorship and events.
“While we’re making some changes to our racing program in 2012, we are confident UPS’s ongoing association with NASCAR and Roush Fenway Racing will continue to present new and meaningful opportunities for UPS, our customers and employees.”
“We are pleased that UPS will continue as a partner in our sport at multiple levels,” said Jim O’Connell, chief sales officer, NASCAR. “NASCAR works for business because our fans are among the most brand loyal in all of sports. UPS is a world-class company and one that we are proud to call our partner.”
Earlier this year, the Crown Royal brand of Diageo announced that it would be leaving the #17 Ford, driven by Matt Kenseth, and would concentrate individual races like the Brickyard 400 as the entitlement sponsor.
What this means is that major companies want to stay in NASCAR, but, no longer have the $10-20 million dollar budgets to spend on one team. These large companies want to retain the consumer awareness built up over years of their investments, but, no longer want to place all their eggs in one (team) basket.
By sponsoring an individual race or extending their deal with NASCAR these large companies feel that they are getting a better return on investment.
While it’s good for NASCAR the sanctioning body, it’s hard on the teams whose costs escalate at a time when there are less sponsorship dollars.
Jack Roush has gone on record that he will continue to field a car for Kenseth next year, who is in the thick of the Sprint Cup Chase, this year. But how long can car owners continue without sponsorship dollars, their teams' lifeblood?