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Budweiser tops Miller in value of NASCAR sponsorships
Milwaukee brewer Miller Brewing Co. is getting a high rate of return on its sponsorship of NASCAR driver Kurt Busch, at least when it comes to broadcasters and Busch himself mentioning one of his sponsors on the air, according to research released by SportsBusiness Journal.

Busch, who drives the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge, ranked second among NASCAR drivers for on-air audio mentions of Busch and a sponsor, reflecting a monetary value for the media exposure of about $3.64 million. That was the conclusion of a recent report that captured and assessed the more than 96,000 sponsor impressions through NASCAR's 37-race Nextel Cup Series schedule, including the Nextel All-Star Challenge.

The research was conducted by Kansas City, Mo.-based sponsorship measurement firm Image Impact and SportsBusiness Journal, an affiliate publication of The Business Journal Serving Greater Milwaukee.

Nearly 400 sponsors were tracked, analyzing primary and secondary car and driver partners, all race venue signage, and the myriad graphics and audio mentions from the races' TV broadcasts. Tertiary sponsors on driver and pit crew uniforms and on the quarter panels of the race cars were not reported.

As far as audio mentions, Busch ranked second in NASCAR with 124 "detections" equating to 10 minutes and 20 seconds of air time. Jeff Gordon, driving the No. 24 Du Pont Chevrolet, ranked the highest with 178 detections, equaling 14 minutes and 50 seconds of air time valued at $5.07 million.

Busch didn't rank among the top five when both audio and video detections were evaluated. NASCAR Nextel Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson, driving the No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet, was the top driver with 7,845 detections valued at $55.98 million.

Among the beer brands, Miller Lite lost out to main rival Anheuser-Busch Cos. Inc.'s Budweiser brand, an official sponsor of NASCAR. Miller Lite had 2,099 detections valued at $18.48 million, compared with Budweiser's 3,024 detections valued at $45.54 million.

Miller Lite has sponsored Kurt Busch's No. 2 Dodge since he signed with the Penske Racing South team prior to the 2006 season.  Milwaukee Sentinel Journal

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