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IRL's asking price too highUPDATE A reader writes, Dear AR1, So the IRL is worth more than NASCAR? Sprint is at 7.5 Million per year over 10 years for NASCAR. Someone is smoking something hallucinogenic over there. $9-10 Mil? Are they insane?
They are probably getting that number from previous years and series that a title series sponsor will typically pay about the same or a little bit more than a top team's budget.
John Menard made a pretty fair offer, but it has issues.
But IRL's dismal TV package just kills any chance of landing a huge sponsor. Especially with Versus at a 10 year deal. Keep in mind that NASCAR also has a TV package they make a ton of money off of as well, and adds value to that series sponsorship.
That could be the hidden message here. Maybe taking his $2-3 million would be great, but its not enough. It's like someone being $10,000 behind on their mortgage, and you offer to give them $3,000. That's quite generous, but they would still be losing their home...so what good does it do?
That is the hidden message I am worried about...
If that is indeed the problem, then the decision makes sense. However, what they should be doing is hunting down a company that will get the sponsorship for free and put $10 Mil per year into activation, ad buys, merchandise. They need to hire a big name designer to design the apparel, and sign a "new deal" that gives the title sponsor access to all of the drivers.
Menards would be minimal impact on activation because they are only in the Midwest (Unless they have plans to grow nationally).
That is what IndyCar needs. They need that reach to the front lines of today's consumers. They can't deliver it themselves.
I was reading that AMP, sponsoring Dale Jr., get as much exposure out the merchandise as anything else. One executive said that many sponsors fail to quantify or track that. She said "How much better can you do than to have people pay to show the world your logo?"
Since Dale Jr sells more merchandise than any other driver almost 3-1, that makes a lot of sense. However, I hear that number is dropping since people are realizing he is a stone. Name withheld by request
07/21/09 Robin Miller reported on Wind Tunnel Sunday night that Menards offered $2-3 million to be the title sponsor of IndyCar but was turned down. IndyCar supposedly wants $9-10 million per year. If true, their asking price is too high. No way that is going to happen in this economy and with IndyCar's TV ratings. Any takers? If so, we have a bridge to sell them as well.
All kidding aside, they should take up Menards on the offer, but only if they agree to a significant amount of series activation, which would benefit both Menards and IndyCar.
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