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Chevy see value in NASCAR despite plummeting attendance, ratings
Chevrolet has already clinched the Sprint Cup manufacturers title, re-signed Earnhardt Ganassi Racing and fields two of three drivers vying for the Cup title.  But maybe more importantly, the car manufacturer has seen an increase in the value of its sponsorship during a time of declining television ratings and attendance.

“NASCAR provides scale and reach to the public for us to have a marketing opportunity,” said Chevy Racing Manager Terry Dolan on Saturday at Texas Motor Speedway. “While it’s true that ratings and attendance have been impacted, our actual connectivity with the consumers, … the amount of consumers that connect with us looking for additional product information, our numbers are actually up year over year.

“We’re pleased about that. Would we like to see attendance and TV ratings go forward? Absolutely. But that’s not anything different than other sports have experienced.”

While Chevrolet has maintained virtually the same number of displays at the track, it has also increased driver appearances on Sunday morning.

“That is a big aid in building traffic,” Dolan said.

Of course, it helps to have success on the track. Chevrolet has the most cars in Cup competition, and it has 18 victories from seven different drivers. Four of those victories came from Earnhardt Ganassi Racing (three by Jamie McMurray and one by Juan Pablo Montoya), and EGR’s success helped draw interest from Ford in recent months.

Did those four victories earn EGR a better Chevrolet deal?

“We always evaluate everybody’s contributions and clearly they had a fabulous year,” Dolan said.

For the last two years, EGR co-owner Chip Ganassi talked to other manufacturers before opting to remain with Chevrolet.

“It’s an honor to have Chip back and continue to be a good partner with Chevrolet and we’re looking forward to an outstanding year in 2011,” Dolan said. “Partners have decisions to make and they have opportunities placed in front of them. They have to assess what’s right for their business.” Scenedaily.com

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