Editorial

Sponsorship - The Good, The Bad and The Realities of Business
by Stan Creekmore, NASCAR Editor

June 14, 2003

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Sponsorship in the Winston Cup Series has taken on two forms over the past five years.

The first are the more traditional sponsorships of Budweiser and Coors where the car is held to a single brand throughout the entire season. The second, which is gaining in popularity, is more like the Newell/Rubbermaid sponsorship of the #97 Ford driven by Kurt Busch.

Newell/Rubbermaid has spread the cost of sponsoring a Winston Cup operation among the many different divisions. The most recent to join the motor sports marketing effort is Irwin Industrial Tools. Irwin paint and decals will adorn the car for four events starting with the Pepsi 400 in July at Daytona International Speedway and continuing in events at Chicago Speedway, Talladega Superspeedway and Lowe’s Motor Speedway.

Sponsorship on the Busch Series also takes on many forms. Some car owners will accept almost any deal to keep the car on the racetrack. The now defunct Toys R Us Chevrolet was never funded directly by Toys R Us. The deal traded shelf space in the company stores for exposure on the race car. Sell enough toys and everyone stays happy. Apparently not enough toys left the shelves and the deal fell apart bringing an end to the team.

The #60 Odo Ban Ford, driven by stuntman Stanton Barrett, was a deal that was short on cash, long on credit but high on effectiveness.

Geoff Smith, President of Roush Racing, explained credit was extended to Odo Ban as the company worked to expand outside the industrial market into the consumer market. At the end of the 15 races Odo Ban was faced with a need to direct capital expenditures towards purchasing the raw materials needed to manufacturer a product with a sudden and large increase in demand.

Smith is confident once the company builds a marketing plan to complement their desire to be involved in motor sports they will return to the #60 along with Stanton Barrett. In the meantime, Smith believes the #60 will be back on the racetrack with possibly Jeff Burton at the wheel.

A couple of trucks in the Craftsman Truck Series round out an extensive set of programs at Roush Racing, however those teams have a “poor” chance of finishing the season in the series. Jon Wood and Carl Edwards may well find themselves racing out the season as full-timers on the Busch Series. However, it is equally possible that the two will mix and match Craftsman Truck and Busch Series events through the end of 2003 with a focus on running full time in 2004. Smith says the company is committed to keeping both Woods and Edwards in the Roush Racing family of drivers.

The author can be contacted stanc@autoracing1.com

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