Military Could Put Brakes On NASCAR Sponsorships
CHARLOTTE, NC- The military could be putting the breaks on NASCAR sponsorship.
Number 88 fans Tom and Nicole Brown have served a combined 30 years in the Army. They cheer on Dale Earnhardt Jr. and love the Air National Guard logo painted on his car.
"It helps people see what the military does for this country. Not only in times of war, but that we support our own and put money into our own," said Brown.
In 2011, the Army spent $7.5 million just to sponsor Ryan Newman. The National Guard totaled over 32 million as a sponsor.
"Talking to the guard, they can't express to me enough about how much this program means to their recruiting," said Earnhardt Jr.
The defense bill sponsors say it's not smart marketing. They want to make budget cuts and sports sponsorships are towards the top of their list.
"I understand the defense budget. They look at how many millions a year that the United States military is spending in sports. But still, it's a great recruiting tool," said Brown.
The republican representative from Georgia who sponsored the bill says the sponsorship money does not help with recruitment. He sites a NASCAR Sprint Cup race when the National Guard spent $650,000, but only got six qualified recruits and zero joined.
But, for many veterans, NASCAR is a big part of the sport and they think it should stay that way.
"Putting that name on their car and riding in pride,” said Brown.
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