Editorial

NASCAR without the Winston Cup

by Dave Yaeck
April 27, 2003

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This week, names started rising again about whom could be the successor to R J Reynolds in NASCAR’s elite division. This week’s names included Visa and McDonalds with neither confirming nor denying that a deal could be struck. No matter what happens, R J Reynolds is committed to their 5-year deal that would take the “Winston Cup” name through the 2007 season though both parties are aggressively exploring their options.

Prior to the beginning of the 2003 season R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company announced that it has talked with NASCAR about the sanctioning body finding a new primary sponsor. Some speculate that the tobacco industry is in such turmoil and it’s not as popular to smoke in this era, that profits have gone down. In fact in the last three months of 2002 the company showed a loss of over 59 million dollars whereas in the same quarter of 2001 they had an 89 million dollar profit. Well folks, that just goes to show that….

TIMES ARE CHANGING!

Back in 1971 when RJR became the primary sponsor to the senior division of NASCAR, the idea of smoking was almost more popular than eating. At that time we did not know just how lethal these cancer sticks can be. 31 years later, people quitting by the numbers because smoking is no longer an acceptable practice and with the invention of designer coffee, the vice of this day and age is more likely to be found at your nearest Starbucks.

Unless you were around when there were actually 2-minute pit stops back in the sixties we have all grown up with calling the elite force of racing, the Winston Cup Series. The phrase that is NASCAR WINSTON CUP SERIES blends just like peanut butter and jelly. What are all the smokers of the world going to do when you can’t go to a race and get 10 free cartons of cigarettes? HMMM… Let me guess? Maybe live longer, I don’t know.

So the inevitable question is, WHO? Who could replace RJR as a primary sponsor? On NASCAR.com in February, they took a poll as to what kind of company would replace this giant and guess what won??? That’s right, a BEER company. I did not find that as a surprise at all because what is the second favorite thing that fans do at a race besides smoking? Yep, right again, drinking beer. But let’s look at this from a phrase theory. Here are just some of the slogans that could be used.


THE NASCAR BUD SERIES
Sounds more like something else you would smoke.

THE NASCAR MILLER LITE SERIES
The cars look great but at Daytona and Talladega they are LESS FILLING.

THE NASCAR COORS LIGHT SERIES
First off, nobody drinks regular Coors and secondly, NASCAR would have to have a road race in the Rocky Mountain springs of Colorado.

THE NASCAR CORONA SERIES
Bright side to this one, maybe there would be a beach at every track with clear blue water.

One of the other choices on that NASCAR.com poll list was soft drinks. Try these slogans on for size.

THE NASCAR SERIES PRESENTED BY PEPSI
The New Spokesperson for PEPSI by NASCAR would be Brittney Spears and she would sing a duet with Tony Stewart called “Oops I did it again”

THE NASCAR COCA COLA SERIES
This one seems to be the smoothest one to roll off your tongue. Their new slogan would be “Have a WIN and a Smile”

To be a primary sponsor, you got to have money. All these companies above have got it, but here are a few more candidates:

NASCAR SERIES BY MICROSOFT
Bill Gates has got to spend some of his money on things other than his wardrobe.

THE NASCAR GOT MILK SERIES
No cookies allowed on the track… Sorry.

THE NASCAR MCDONALDS SERIES
Cool…. FREE FOOD!!

There are probably hundreds of other companies that would be able to sponsor this series but I also thought of a few within the ranks that could probably take care of the prize fund:

THE NASCAR TONY STEWART TEMPER TEMPER SERIES
Nuff Said. (We all know that has changed this year but it had to be said)

THE NASCAR ROBBY GORDON I RAN INTO YOU SERIES
Once again, Nuff Said. I wonder if he gives all his checks to Richard Childress to pay for all the damage he causes.

And last but not least…..

THE NASCAR SERIES PROVIDED BY BROOKE GORDON’S DIVORCE SETTLEMENT
This one might not work because it’s going to be a one time payment.

Whatever happens in the years to come with NASCAR’s elite group, you can rest assured that it will be exciting no matter who is sponsoring them.

The author can be contacted nascar@autoracing1.com

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Author

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