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NASCAR Sponsorship News Thread

gnomesayin

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Helping out with the suggestion to create a sponsor news thread. Glad to see this topic move away from the Deathbed thread, which opening always felt like walking through a puddle beneath a leaking sewer pipe. You'd try to skip over it, but sometimes it's too wide.

Here's an article centering around activation as it relates to Toyota's sponsorship of the Richmond races.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/maurybrown/2019/04/11/richmond-raceway-and-toyota-set-the-bar-for-nascar-sponsorships/#2c0ef5eb4c68

Richmond Raceway And Toyota Set The Bar For NASCAR Sponsorships

Maury Brown

Toyota Owners 400 Weekend at Richmond Raceway will see loyal Toyota owners exposed to a number of perks that builds brand loyalty and has others asking, "How can I get in on this?"

Sponsorships have changed dramatically in sports over the years. The days of just seeing signage at an event has shifted into a myriad of ways that businesses work to activate deals to give them maximum exposure and return on their investment.

For motorsports, sponsorships are the life blood of the teams, and tracks. No longer satisfied with 200 mph billboards, sponsorship deals have gotten creative in not only establishing brand but building out relationships at the track that eventually culminate in sales.

For those watching on television this weekend, the ToyotaCare 250 NASCAR Xfinity Series race on Friday, and Toyota Owners 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series on Saturday night under the lights at Richmond Raceway may appear to just have “Toyota” as an entitlement sponsor to highlight a car manufacturer that sees drivers such as Denny Hamlin, Martin Truex Jr., or Denny Hamlin at the wheel. But at the event, how Toyota is engaging with customers that have purchased their vehicles, or thinking about changing car or truck brands, is setting a standard that other sponsorships should look to.



As a way of rewarding loyal Toyota customers, as well as working to lure others to the brand, multiple levels of hospitality are provided at the race. That can include special Toyota owners parking where you simply show your key to gain entry; to light food and drink hospitality areas; to driver meet-and-greets; to a Toyota based autocross course that drivers will take loyal owners through; to having passenger cars and trucks on display to examine up-close; to having access lanes for Toyota owners to get in and out of the track easier. All of which provides a massive brand presence at Richmond Raceway. While being part of this “hub”, Toyota will gather information from existing or possibly new customers that filters into leads for potential sales.

“This is our seventh year of doing the ToyotaCare 250 and the Toyota Owners 400, and Richmond has always been a very important market for us,” said Ed Laukes, Group Vice President, Toyota North America. “It’s especially important for us in the NASCAR community because it’s Denny Hamlin’s home, so Richmond was a really nice fit for us when we at Toyota got involved with racing in NASCAR.”

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The entitlement sponsorship and how it is activated shows a direct correlation to sales. Regionally, Laukes said that sales have increased 8% in the Richmond area while within the region the increase is 6%. And while not all of that is attributed to the entitlement sponsorship of the ToyotaCare 250 and the Toyota Owners 400, there’s a firm belief that is playing a strong part in it.

A key aspect of sponsor engagement at NASCAR events is the amount of time that customers are at an event. Given that the Toyota Owners 400 Monster Energy Cup Series race is at night, that dwell time is longer, and thus allows Toyota to continue to relationship build.

For Tanner Hulette, Vice President Page Auto Group, there is a direct tie between not only customer sales through the Toyota activation at Richmond Raceway, but service and maintenance. “There has been a regional effect,” Hulette says. “We have seen initial customer growth through ‘conquesting’ – bringing in customers from other car brands over to Toyota. But the larger story is what it’s done for the ownership experience and the parts and services aspect.” Hulette went on to say that due to the direct connection to customers at the events, it’s leading to an increase in seeing vehicles serviced at Toyota dealerships.


Toyota owners get preferential parking treatment as part of the sponsorship deal at Richmond Raceway such as preferred parking

HARRELSON PHOTOGRAPHY
For Richmond Raceway, having Toyota as a partner moves beyond just the races that will take place this weekend. It provides year-round relationship building.

“The benefit of working with Toyota at the national, regional, and local level allows us to engage with them all throughout the calendar year to improve the experience,” said Dennis Bickmeier, President, Richmond Raceway, adding that the idea is to enhance the race weekend for the fans. “We’re fortunate to work with Toyota on all three levels. That allows us to promote the Toyota brand 365 days a year, not just on the weekend of the ToyotaCare 250 and Toyota Owners 400. Whatever we can do to help drive fans to dealerships to help sell the Toyota brand, that’s what we’re here to help do.”

The Toyota partnership goes past just this weekend. Richmond Raceway will host regional dealership meetings at the track once-a-month throughout the year, further building the ties between the track and Toyota at the regional level that Bickmeier said shows a level of engagement and commitment to the partnership with Toyota

Ultimately, sports sponsorships are about bringing an audience to a product. Toyota’s presence at Richmond Raceway – not only visually with traditional brand exposure through signage, but in engaging and providing experiences to current and potentially future car owners – is a successful one. The synergy between the track, its location within the region with NASCAR fans, and Toyota make it a strong bond that provides a benchmark for others.
 

IanMcVittie

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Great article and an endeavor like this should really boost attendance pre race and for the race itself. The activities sound fun and jumping the que is a really good idea.
 

gnomesayin

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This Wall Street Journal article about Monster portrays it as losing market share and facing increasing serious competition that is fragmenting the energy drinks market, including a threat from Coke itself and several more supposedly health-focused drinks. Monster still has the biggest market share in the US, while Red Bull is far and away the leader globally.

With Monster departing as title sponsor, this is probably more relevant because other energy drinks will be able to advertise in NASCAR again, and there are many new ones coming.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/energy-drink-upstarts-are-sapping-monsters-strength-11555498800?redirect=amp#click=https://t.co/0e7A6XaIpa

Energy-Drink Upstarts Are Sapping Monster’s Strength
Beverage industry analysts say Monster has struggled to address a particular consumer shift

Monster represents just over 40% of energy-drink sales in U.S. retail stores.

By
Jennifer Maloney
April 17, 2019 7:00 a.m. ET


The king of energy drinks is in need of a boost.

Monster Beverage Corp. MNST +0.81% is losing market share, fighting in court with an upstart competitor and trying to stop its biggest partner—Coca-Cola Co. KO +0.97% —from releasing an energy version of Coke.

Now Keurig Dr Pepper Inc. KDP -0.57% is jumping in with an energy drink developed by Lance Collins, the entrepreneur behind successful brands including Fuze tea, BodyArmor sports drinks and Core bottled water. His new drink, Adrenaline Shoc, is meant to appeal to consumers looking for less sugar and more natural ingredients, Mr. Collins said.

“Traditional energy drinks have ingredients that you can’t pronounce: glucuronolactone, inositol, taurine,” he said. “We took all those things out.”

It is a consumer shift that beverage industry analysts say Monster has struggled to address.

Monster accounted for 41% of energy-drink sales in American retail stores in the four weeks ended April 7, down from 45% a year earlier, according to an Evercore ISI analysis of data from IRI, a market research firm. Meanwhile, a new entrant called Bang has quickly captured about 9% of the market.

A Monster spokeswoman referred to its previous comments, criticizing Bang for “false and unsupported” health claims. At an investor meeting in January, Monster CEO Rodney Sacks said fitness-oriented energy drinks like Bang will end up expanding the category, allowing Monster to continue to grow.

Monster is touting a new brand called Reign, which contains coenzyme Q10, a dietary supplement taken for heart health. “Will we have competition? Sure, we will. But we’ve had competition before,” Mr. Sacks said in January. “Ultimately, we’re confident about the ability of Monster to continue to grow and the ability of Reign to participate in that space.”

The Monster brand has nothing to do health and wellness, Evercore ISI analyst Robert Ottenstein said. “Monster recognized that to their credit. They recognized that they couldn’t use the Monster trademark to go after Bang. The question is are they going to be able to do it? There’s a whole new wave of brands with authenticity in the fitness space.”

Other players are crowding into the category:Anheuser-Busch InBev SA in 2017 bought organic energy-drink startup Hiball Inc. And Amazon.comInc. just launched its own energy drink under its Solimo brand.

Coca-Cola, which owns an 18.5% stake in Monster and distributes the brand through its bottling network, has developed a drink called Coca-Cola Energy that is already being introduced in Europe. Monster says the move is a violation of an agreement the companies struck in 2015; they are in arbitration.

Bang also has drawn Monster into a fight. In September, Monster sued Bang’s parent company, Vital Pharmaceuticals Inc., alleging that it doesn’t contain creatine, the ingredient it touts prominently on its cans, and that the company had made false health claims about its product. Monster also raised concerns about those health claims with the Food and Drug Administration, according to a person familiar with the matter. Monster’s March launch of Reign was a parallel attack on Vital, with the new brand’s packaging and flavors closely mirroring Bang’s.

Vital has sued Monster alleging trademark infringement and refutes Monster’s charges.

“A meritless and frivolous lawsuit has no chance to prevent the inevitability of Bang’s meteoric rise to the top,” Vital said in a September news release. “Consumers choose Bang because it’s more effective, tastes better, and doesn’t contain harmful amounts of sugar and ingredients like D-glucuronolactone contained in Monster.”

Monster called Vital’s trademark suit a bad faith attempt to slow its Reign launch.

Keurig Dr Pepper has taken a significant minority stake in Adrenaline Shoc with a path to ownership and will distribute it nationally. Terms weren’t disclosed. The deal comes unusually early in the brand’s development. Typically startup brands build sales on their own before striking a national distribution agreement. This one has yet to appear in a single store. Keurig plans to launch it in June.

With the energy-drink category fragmenting, Keurig Dr Pepper said it wants to offer consumers a range of options. It already owns two small traditional energy-drink brands and earlier this month said that it would distribute Runa Clean Energy, an organic energy drink with caffeine derived from the Guayusa leaf. Runa is owned by All Market Inc., which also owns Vita Coco coconut water.

Adrenaline Shoc has no sugar and contains caffeine derived from green coffee beans, yerba mate, coffee-bean fruit extract and guarana.
 

Kiante

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This is fantastic. Blaney already has a personal sponsorship with BodyArmor, it would be cool to see different drink makers in the mid-field. Not to take anything away from Coca-Cola, but seeing more brand activation in the mid-field to see BANG, BodyArmor, Essentia+ (Personal sponsor for John-Hunter, water comapny), and others to talk about their products IMO. Great for competition and business, I think NASCAR is going in the right direction with this.

Back in 2006 at Daytona, I still remember trying all of the new energy drinks when they were first released in Monster, NOS, Full-Throttle, Vault, etc. All had a piece of the pie in the fan area, it was cool to see.
 

LewTheShoe

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This Wall Street Journal article about Monster portrays it as losing market share and facing increasing serious competition that is fragmenting the energy drinks market, including a threat from Coke itself and several more supposedly health-focused drinks. Monster still has the biggest market share in the US, while Red Bull is far and away the leader globally.

With Monster departing as title sponsor, this is probably more relevant because other energy drinks will be able to advertise in NASCAR again, and there are many new ones coming.
Adam Stern tweeted about Monster on Monday, including an interesting comment from a Kroger manager in Agusta, GA.
 

Kiante

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Adam Stern tweeted about Monster on Monday, including an interesting comment from a Kroger manager in Agusta, GA.
Once again, it proves NASCAR marketing has been effective. The key is Kroger has spent the money necessary and has pushed hell out of themselves and other contingency sponsors. Great job on Kroger's part and much appreciated.
 

StandOnIt

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This latest multi-year agreement gives the fast-growing series long-term stability at one of the most famous racing venues in Europe.

This agreement will join others already reached with Brands Hatch in England; Zolder, Belgium and Hockenheim in Germany to give the series secured events through the 2024 season.
 

Team Penske

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Sure looks like Nascar is not dead yet. But with profits only in the couple hundred million
how will they survive?? Very interested in seeing how the ISC buyout goes.
 

gnomesayin

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Not sure where to put this, but since RTA initiatives heavily involve sponsorship, I'll try here.

Mid-five figures in membership fees, I'll take that to mean $40000-$70000. Would that be per chartered team or per organization?

 

AuzGrams

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It still is. I go to NBA games all the time and NASCAR races are much better.

NBA is a much better TV product than NASCAR. It boggles my mind why people don't want to attend races.
 

Team Penske

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It still is. I go to NBA games all the time and NASCAR races are much better.

NBA is a much better TV product than NASCAR. It boggles my mind why people don't want to attend races.
COSTS is why. ( besides a closed border) Last races I attended where at Daytona around 93 and back then it costs $1500+ for the one week and that is diving 24 hours to get there and no hotel bills.
 

gnomesayin

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The Phillip Morris Mission Winnow thing is surreal and sounds like George Costanza's Human Fund. We're not promoting any of our products. We're just here to talk about making things better. Yeah.

"Mission Winnow has a simple goal: drive change by constantly searching for better ways of doing things."
 

StandOnIt

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Helping out with the suggestion to create a sponsor news thread. Glad to see this topic move away from the Deathbed thread, which opening always felt like walking through a puddle beneath a leaking sewer pipe. You'd try to skip over it, but sometimes it's too wide.

Here's an article centering around activation as it relates to Toyota's sponsorship of the Richmond races.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/maurybrown/2019/04/11/richmond-raceway-and-toyota-set-the-bar-for-nascar-sponsorships/#2c0ef5eb4c68
more Richmond raceway news

concert venue at Richmond Raceway gets $500,000 makeover, party deck
The raceway’s parent company, International Speedway Corp., announced the capital investment it made to the amphitheater project as a continuation of the reinvestment in the future of the Richmond Raceway Complex as part of Richmond Raceway Reimagined, which began with the $30 million infield redevelopment project that opened in fall 2018, according to the raceway.

https://www.richmond.com/entertainment/music/virginia-credit-union-live-concert-venue-at-richmond-raceway-gets/article_0bb2bc8e-eafa-5676-8fff-aceb1371a080.html
 

LewTheShoe

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I wish there were more companies involved in racing that think like FedEx. Regardless of what you think of Denny Hamlin, you have to admit that FedEx is one of the sport's premier sponsors. And Denny is clearly their guy, along with Coach Gibbs himself, according to the new Nate Ryan podcast, which takes a deep dive into the relationship and how FedEx tracks their return on investment.

Podcast: Why FedEx says a NASCAR sponsorship is worth a billion

As a sponsor that has invested eight figures annually for 14 seasons in NASCAR’s premier series. FedEx has spent well more than nine figures promoting its brand.

But for all those millions spent, the amount of exposure has stretched above 10 figures annually.

In the most recent NASCAR on NBC Podcast, which highlights the sponsor’s long-term relationship with Denny Hamlin and Joe Gibbs Racing, a FedEx executive shared a few interesting nuggets about how it tracks the efficacy of its NASCAR involvement.

“We measure it very closely, and we have more than a billion brand impressions generated from the No. 11 sponsorship each year,” said Patrick Fitzgerald, the senior vice president of integrated marketing and communications for FedEx. “It’s one of the reasons it’s important for us to be the sole sponsor of the No. 11 car.”

After selling off a few of its races last year, FedEx will adorn Hamlin’s No. 11 in every race during the 2019 season to gather those impressions, which Fitzgerald said cover myriad categories.

“It’s across everything,” Fitzgerald said. “Eyes on the brand at track, on broadcasts, on digital. Every place we’re able to activate the sponsorship”

Though the delivery and logistics company sponsors many sports globally (including golf, the NFL, international soccer and the NBA), its most visible spokesman is Hamlin, who scored his second Daytona 500 victory in February. The JGR driver has 33 victories with FedEx since 2006.

“He’s become a genuine extension of our brand and a real brand ambassador, and we’re proud of that,” Fitzgerald said. “He certainly understands our culture and business. He takes the time with customers and team members and does understand our business and what we represent and why it’s so powerful to have a long connection with the company and the brand...

“The overall mix, we get a lot of value,” Fitzgerald said. “NASCAR is a great example of the evolving media landscape. For example, with the advent of DVRs and other technologies that change the overall effectiveness of traditional broadcast advertising, the exposure you get from a race, which is DVR proof, you get tremendous brand value just being on that car lap after lap, race after race, and then in particular when Denny does something like amazing like winning the Daytona 500.

“When we host a customer at an event, we look at shipping volumes before and after, you can start to draw some conclusions of the effectiveness as a revenue generator. We looked at that closely...”

https://nascar.nbcsports.com/2019/05/16/podcast-why-fedex-believes-its-nascar-sponsorship-is-worth-a-billion/
 

StandOnIt

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Flex Seal, Florida Watermelon Association join JD Motorsports at Charlotte
JD Motorsports with Gary Keller (JDM) is proud to welcome back the Flex Seal Family of Products as well as the Florida Watermelon Association on board as primary partners on all four Chevrolet Camaros.
This weekend’s race in Charlotte marks the third time this season where all four JDM cars have been fully sponsored, and the team is very pleased. Team owner Johnny Davis was quoted saying “We here at JD Motorsports truly appreciate all of the fantastic support we have had this season. Our cars have been running as good as ever, and I take pride in knowing that more and more companies are starting to take notice. We are going to give it our all this Saturday in Charlotte to represent them well!”

— JD Motorsports —
https://www.jayski.com/2019/05/20/flex-seal-florida-watermelon-association-join-jd-motorsports-at-charlotte/
 

LewTheShoe

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Too the dismay of some and who ray for the rest of us, it is expected for RPM to announce a sponsorship deal today according to Pockrass

World Wide Technology makes 'investment in diversity' with RPM

World Wide Technology unveiled a new strategic partnership Friday with Richard Petty Motorsports and Victory Junction, a camp for children with chronic medical conditions or serious illnesses.

https://www.motorsport.com/nascar-cup/news/world-wide-technology-makes-investment-in-diversity-with-rpm/4414858/

WWT is funding the deal to promote Victory Junction. Wow, great news. The deal is said to cover about 10 races over the remainder of the year.
 

Kiante

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Also, Dave Steward owns and founded WWT. He's one of four black billionaires in the US (Oprah, Robert F. Smith, and Michael Jordan).

Steward is funding RPM through his foundation, Steward really believes in Bubba's ability. This is amazing to see black business involved like this. Incredible to see and I hope this is the beginning of greater things IMO because Steward is funding Bubba more than anything else...

This is truly awe inspiring.
 

LewTheShoe

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This is truly awe inspiring.
Yes, it is. I love this quote from Dave Steward...

“With the Victory Junction alliance, we will celebrate and enable kids with diverse challenges and perspectives to reach their fullest abilities. ‘What you have done for the least of them, you have done for me.’

“It was an easy decision to get involved with Victory Junction. Diversity matters. That is why we support Bubba. That is why we support Victory Junction.”
 

Ventisca

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Bubba said it will be on the car for 16 races during the presser.

Great news, hopefully RPM can keep up the momentum.
A grand step -- but Bubba still needs better equipment as well as other peripheral improvements.

We'll see how this boosts the team's on track competitiveness. Don't know if RPM can organizationally achieve success -- right people in right places making the right decisions. (Need more Inside Baseball analysis which is lacking in current NASCAR Media)

Not to mention their outside support and relationships that may or may not be able to gain competitive performance even with a boost in sponsorship.

We mostly get images of Richard Petty wearing his hat and shades -- living off the land; while on track Bubba is wondering why his brakes don't work right, car won't handle...

OTOH, even with a smaller field, still plenty of small team back-markers grubbing along, so Bubba isn't alone...
 
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