Could Donald Trump’s Food Stamp Cuts Hurt NASCAR’s Title Sponsorship?

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What if a vote for Donald Trump was indirectly a vote against NASCAR?

It’s more complicated than that, obviously, but in just its first season as title sponsor, Monster Energy has yet to commit to continuing its relationship with the premier series beyond 2018. And the energy drink company’s reticence might not have anything to do with what happens at the tracks.

A threatened 25 percent cut to the U.S. government’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program — also known as SNAP or, more commonly, food stamps — by the Trump administration could add further pressure to energy drink sales that have fallen off in recent months, Monster CFO Hilton Schlosberg told analysts Tuesday, per Just-Drinks.com.

This comes at a time when Monster is considering an option to extend its deal as NASCAR’s Cup series title sponsor for another two years.

“One of the points that was raised by bottlers at a recent meeting that we attended was that the SNAP program and the reduction in benefits under the SNAP program could have an impact on lower convenience store traffic,” Schlosberg was quoted as saying.

A soft market for energy drinks could cause Monster to hesitate in exercising its option before the year-end deadline, although the White House can’t be solely faulted if Monster decides to opt out of its NASCAR contract. Monster’s recent quarterly report suggested its new NASCAR sponsorship hasn’t helped grow the customer base the way the company likely hoped, and flagging TV ratings don’t help, either.

Still, it would be a bitter pill for NASCAR if one of Trump’s policies contributes to the sport losing its title sponsor, considering NASCAR CEO Brian France vocally threw his support behind Trump early in the 2016 election campaign.

Thumbnail photo via Brian Spurlock/USA TODAY Sports Images

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