US Army drops NASCAR sponsorship, says waste of money

UPDATE The U.S. Army remains committed to sports sponsorships, but it opted to sever ties with Stewart-Haas Racing after this season because it was not seeing enough of a return on its investment. John Myers, chief marketing support element for the Army Marketing and Research Group, which does recruiting advertising for the Army, said the Army will continue to sponsor the NHRA and entitle the annual high school football game known as the U.S. Army All-American Bowl because both of those sponsorships provided a good ROI, which for the Army is based in part on recruiting leads.

Myers said that the Stewart-Haas Racing sponsorship, which cost the Army $7.4M for 15 races last year, was "an expensive investment" and ending it was "quite simply a return-on-investment decision." He added, "It has nothing to do with Stewart-Haas Racing, per se, which has been a very, very strong partner the past four years. We'll repurpose those dollars against other programs that our metrics show yield better results."

In addition to the NHRA and All-American Bowl, the Army will continue to spend its marketing budget on social media initiatives, mobile marketing, TV and digital advertising. Myers said that a recent move by U.S. House leaders Jack Kingston (R-Ga.) and Betty McCollum (D-Minn.) to amend the defense budget to prohibit sports sponsorships was not a factor in the Army's decision. The Army's marketing budget will remain flat next year.

07/10/12 The U.S. Army has decided not to renew its sponsorship with Stewart-Haas Racing's No. 39 car driven by Ryan Newman in '13. The Army cited reallocation of its marketing budget as the reason it will not have a presence in NASCAR next season. NASCAR PR

The AP's Jenna Fryer notes the U.S. Army has been a "longtime sponsor in NASCAR, and has been with Ryan Newman at SHR since 2009 when the team was formed." The decision comes as U.S. Reps. Betty McCollum (D-Minn.) and Jackson Kingston (R-Ga.) "are pushing an amendment that would prohibit military sponsorship of sports." The bill "has made it through the House Appropriations Committee" AP.

Leave a Reply