As more and more companies scale back their involvement in racing, NASCAR is looking to revamp its sponsorship model.
NASCAR is expected to introduce a new contingency sponsor program for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in 2018, according to Sports Business Journal. The new program would give teams more space to sell advertising on their cars.
Teams currently use the front side panels to house decals for NASCAR’s 16 contingency sponsors. Under the new system, teams would be free to sell that space to sponsors, though they still would be required to sport decals for Sunoco, Goodyear and Monster Energy — Cup’s fuel, tire and naming rights partners, respectively.
“The basic idea (of the contingency program) is good, but like the CD versus music downloads, we need to rethink how this works,” Race Team Alliance chairman and Chip Ganassi Racing co-owner, Rob Kauffman, said in a statement. “Just filling up the front quarter panel with a ton of stickers is not really effective in and of itself. So is there a better way? That’s what we’re trying to figure out.”
NASCAR initially will allow contingency sponsors to opt-in to the new program, which will see brands promoted via digital advertisements and social media posts, rather than through decals on cars. If a sponsor chooses not to opt into the program, they will be allowed to continue under the current structure until their respective contracts expire.
The sport’s governing body reportedly knows that, if properly implemented, a new sponsorship model could benefit both teams and the sport as a whole.
“If we get it right, it can be a good blueprint for the future for sure,” Kauffman said. “That’s why we’re taking a little more time to get it right.”
Kauffman said freeing up the space that’s currently occupied by NASCAR’s 16 series-wide sponsors will have a significant impact on the 14 teams that comprise the RTA, as sponsorship accounts for roughly 75 percent of their revenue streams.
Thumbnail photo via John David Mercer/USA TODAY Sports Images