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Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Nascar to lose it's Busch

Faster than you can say 'Jayski', the naysayers filled many message boards and air waves spouting of how 'Nascar had once again run off one of their traditional sponsors for the sake of money'. But hearing spokesmen from both Anheuser-Busch and Nascar I think those naysayers could be as far from the truth as possible.

While the Beer Company has been the series sponsor (in one form or another) since 1982, the company's 'Nascar presence' is still one of the most (if not the most) recognised brand name in the sport, and that is not going to change at all. The #8 car will still get 'tier one' sponsorship dollars, the pole award will still be called the 'Bud Pole Award', and the 'Bud Shoot-out' will not change.

So why is Busch really pulling out of the series sponsorship when it's contract comes due after the '07 season? That answer is pretty simple, and has little to do with Dollars. Anheuser-Busch can afford to sponsor just about any (and they practically have their hand in almost every sporting event in terms of sponsorship in one way or another) sporting event it chooses, and the amount of dollars from within that sponsorship. But the main problem I see with the Busch series sponsorship is 'redundancy'. Especially with all the other sponsorship and visibility they have in the Cup series. For the most part, the target market for 'Saturday' racing, and the same as 'Sunday' racing. There is/was/will be no real reason to saturate that market, as the benefits of doing that is limited.

Of course the naysayers are claiming this all revolves around the 'Nascar greed', but think about this. The '08 series sponsorship is being estimated at a worth of around 30 to 35 million dollars a season. Not chump changes by any means. But what struck me and the naysayers will ignore this, is that estimation is around THREE TIMES what Anheuser-Busch is currently paying Nascar for the series sponsorship. For the price of 2nd tier car sponsorship, Anheuser-Busch was getting their name plastered on the TeVee, signage, logos hundreds of times each Satuday. Is it fair to say that Nascar has actually short changed themselves, and undersold their product for the past decade or so and that Anheuser-Busch has been given a 'screamin' deal and now the 'deal' is coming to a close?

The list of potential sponsors seems to be taking a life of it's own and grows by the day. And frankly, it is not the 'Nascar greed' that drives this bus, but the vision to see that in order to keep ticket prices down, prize money up and the best product available, this type of business model must be achieved.

Jerry Jones is building a 'billion dollar' stadium, not in Dallas, but in Arlington and do you honestly think even 50% of this building cost is going to come out of his pockets? (and they are deep pockets too) Of course not, naming rights will not only be sold for the over-all stadium itself, but every concourse, suite level, vending area, mall, bathroom, meeting room, convention hall and scoreboard (and probably more) will be sold in corporate sponsorship to the highest bidder. It is not greed, it is simply being smart.

No matter what the sponsorship truly will be in '08, why don't we just call it what it is......'Cup Lite'.

Are 'suicide watches' needed for Ricky Rudd fans?

Well it hasn't been that bad, but what was a weekend of 'rejoicing' is starting to turn into anxiety for the Rudd faithful. Could 'Nascar's worst kept secret' actually taking a different turn when a certain Craftsman Truck Driver was given his 'walking papers', not due to performance, but due to lack of sponsorship?

Perhaps that 'bottom of the barrel' I spoke of earlier last week, just got filled a bit with a 4thCTS division driver. Someone who is willing to 'commit' to the sponsor and their weekly appearance needs and more importantly, someone who wants to race 'full time'.

Of course not the credentials of a Driver like Ricky Rudd, but David Starr also carries a lot less 'baggage' with him, something that RYR doesn't need in their rebuilding process.

After all, is this 'theory' any less credible than RR going back to RYR and running the #28? (seems only Lee Spencer really knows that answer) If you would have told me that a year or so ago, I would have pointed you to this picture....


and Lastly
And this Network is going to 'save' Nascar?

Last night, before their first bowl broadcast of the season, ESPN and their 'experts' dedicated an hour long pre-bowl special. Now making a 'mistake' on the air is one thing, but have over 3 weeks to prepare for this show and doing this is simply inexcusable.

You decide:

homework! just do it!

Is this the best ESPN can offer? What is worse about all of this, is that Howard did this more than once. (before the game, and during the halftime). I can just hear it now some Sunday morning during one of the ESPN Nascar Broadcasts: "Tony Stewart, driver of the #29, M&Ms Toyota, has a great chance to win this week's Memorial Day race at the Indy 500."

And some think that ESPN will 'save' the Nascar Broadcasts.

1 comment:

Gvav1 said...

The wait continues...Rudd or Starr in the #28?