NASCAR may lose some of its military sponsorship

UPDATE The Army’s annual $140-million advertising account is up for grabs. One could thus conclude its current ad agency has been put on notice. Question: Are those involved NASCAR team owners beginning to sweat? NSSN 04/27/05 Chris Economaki reports in this week's National Speed Sport News – Despite reports that more than 19,000 leads were produced for the National Guard via its NASCAR sponsorship, the Federal General Accounting Office (GAO) is questioning the efficacy of the service’s recruiting programs at auto races. All four branches of the military plus the National Guard and Coast Guard are currently represented in NASCAR. The Army sponsors Joe Nemechek’s Chevy in Nextel Cup and is the “official military service of NASCAR," an estimated $8 million combination. The National Guard backs Greg Biffle’s Nextel Cup Ford at a cost of $6 million. The Air Force is an associate sponsor ($2.2 million) on Ricky Rudd’s No. 21 Wood Brothers Ford, while the Navy, Marines and Coast Guard have Busch Series programs. The collective cost is $22 million says the GAO, questioning its advisability as volunteers have fallen below Defense Department needs. [Editor's Note: Why does the military put all its eggs in one basket? Each branch should have sponsorship in a different series – Champ Car, the IRL and ALMS perhaps. As it is today, they are all competing for the same customer base.]

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