Sponsors Like What They See in NASCAR
CHARLOTTE, NC- Sponsors were sitting on cash rather than spending it in 2010.
Ratings for the Sprint Cup Series fell 10 percent last year. That's a 30 percent decrease from the 2005 peak. And attendance was down at 27 of 36 races.
"The economy has certainly been a challenge in recent years, but we're starting to see some signs in terms of how corporate business really recognize the benefit of marketing and advertising to race fans," said Scott Cooper, vice president of communication at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
This year's Daytona 500 was the most watched NASCAR race since 2008 and ratings were up in each of the first three races.
"From week to week, it's still one of the biggest draws on television just as a single event. So a sponsor is going to look at that and say ‘Well it's not what it was in 2008, but it's still better than anything else going on," said Dr. Craig A. Depken II.
Dr. Depkin is a sports marketing professor at UNC Charlotte. His research focuses on NASCAR economics.
Depkin's latest study explains what keeps people watching and buying tickets...and also what pushes them away.
"It's the competitiveness of the race, and the competitiveness of the season that has a big impact on TV viewership," said Depkin.
Bojangles, Bank of America, and Toyota were just some of the sponsors that extended their contracts with Charlotte Motor Speedway this year.
No big sponsors backed out.
The details of the newest deal haven't been disclosed, but the Charlotte Motor Speedway calls their newest sponsorship unique.
The History Channel has announced its premier sponsorship of the the NASCAR nationwide series Top Gear 300.
"That has actually filled all our primary race entitlements for sponsorship for 2011," said Cooper.
Cooper hopes the speedway's new, 16,00o square foot video board will bring in more sponsors.