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NASCAR teams depend on many things for their success. When it comes to their finances, no factor is more important than sponsorship. It forms the bedrock of a NASCAR team’s operation, and is hopefully then augmented with race winnings and merchandise sales. In previous articles we have talked about what it costs to become a NASCAR sponsor, and you can find links to that below, but today we want to focus a bit more on the sponsorship process itself.
To become a NASCAR sponsor, identify your target series and team, establish a budget, and connect with team representatives or specialized marketing agencies. Evaluate sponsorship levels and their associated benefits, create a proposal aligning with your brand objectives, and negotiate a mutually beneficial partnership to maximize exposure and return on investment.
If you were interested in becoming a NASCAR sponsor,
- how would you go about it?
- What procedures are needed?
- Are there any important prerequisites?
- what do you need to consider
- what differences are the national and local series levels
These questions and more we will try to answer below.
NASCAR teams themselves may well reach out to you for sponsorship if you’re part of a well-known automotive-related brand, but it’s not the only way in. You can also initiate the offer of sponsorship yourself, typically going through a marketing agency that will help facilitate the whole process.
The Process of Becoming a NASCAR Sponsor
if you are interested some of the associated costs on sponsoring a NASCAR we have a companion article here on the link and on the picture below.
What about Smaller teams?
So we imagine that most reading this page are not in the marketing department of Busch Light or other huge brands, as they already know what to do. So for the rest of us then enquiring directly to smaller teams the best way is to literally reach out to them,
Especially for Truck and Arca series or similar, where they are large enough to have websites and staff. A simple email fired off to their marketing, or even media departments if they don’t have a sponsorship department could get you on the way to developing your sponsorship arrangement at these levels of NASCAR.
Sponsoring ARCA or similar NASCAR Teams
When considering sponsoring a team in NASCAR, it’s essential to understand the differences between ARCA or lower series teams and National series teams. Each level offers unique opportunities and costs, and the approach to sponsorship will vary accordingly.
ARCA (Automobile Racing Club of America) and lower NASCAR series teams, such as the regional touring series, are typically smaller and more budget-conscious.
Sponsorship in these series tends to be more affordable, making it an attractive option for local businesses or companies with limited marketing budgets. It also offers the chance to target localities rather than national which for SME firms is more realistic and beneficial.
To sponsor an ARCA or lower NASCAR team, you should:
- Research and identify teams that align with your brand values and target audience.
- Establish a clear budget and determine the level of sponsorship you can offer (Primary, Associate, or Supporting).
- Connect with team representatives or marketing agencies specializing in ARCA or lower series sponsorships.
- Focus on local or regional marketing strategies, as these races often attract a more localized fan base.
- Consider the benefits of grassroots marketing, where your brand can grow alongside the team and gain recognition within the community.
sponsoring ARCA or lower NASCAR series offers a cost-effective entry point into motorsports sponsorship and grassroots marketing potential.
Primary, Associate and Supporting Sponsors
You can become either a “Primary” or “Associate” team sponsor, as well as a third category known as “Supporting” sponsor.
The primary tool for becoming a sponsor is, as you might expect, cash. The “Primary” sponsors give the most (up to $300,000 per race in the Cup Series for a top-20 team), and all sponsorships are on a per-race basis.
These sponsors can get in touch directly and set up the process, or they may be approached depending on their status and prestige in their own field.
To be clear, it’s not only automotive brands that are eligible to sponsor NASCAR teams. It’s obvious why many automotive brands would want to get in on NASCAR for publicity reasons, there are many other large and small enterprises not in the automotive industry that do so. Probably the most notable example is beverage companies like Busch Light and Coca-Cola who are among the sport’s biggest contributors.
The spending levels are important, but there are actually multiple points of entry when it comes to NASCAR sponsorship. When working with a marketing agency or other facilitator, it’s therefore important to inquire about all the different ways there are to be a sponsor. We’ll list the main ones below and then explain a little more about them:
Those looking to become sponsors on a large scale should look into league sponsorship. This is the level on which above-mentioned brands like Busch and Coca-Cola sponsor, and it is sometimes also known as “entitlement” sponsorship.
In sponsoring the NASCAR leagues directly, these companies don’t associate themselves with any one team or driver, but rather are looking at the bigger picture. They earn the right to have their names directly associated with the NASCAR logo, and are featured just about everywhere you look both at the physical race locations, as well as in the online and broadcast media spaces.
When sponsoring a NASCAR team, the sponsor’s logos appear most prominently on the cars. Each space on the car is carefully planned out and allocated according to sponsorship levels.
The most prominent locations, of course, are the car hood and sides, closely followed by the rear end of the vehicle, which becomes very visible in replays, from certain camera angles during the race on television, and nearly always to the fans watching the race in person.
Team sponsors also have their logos featured incredibly prominently if and when their team wins a race, as well. This is what makes NASCAR a bit different from some other sports where winning/trophy ceremonies may be somewhat absent from the team sponsors’ logos.
You might wonder how you can sponsor a driver without really sponsoring the entire team. Believe it or not, it’s possible through something known as a “Personal Service Agreement” or PSA. However, a PSA is not quite the same as the other kinds of sponsorship in the list.
It doesn’t entitle the sponsor for their logo to be featured on the driver’s branded fire suit, nor on their car. It’s really a personal deal with the driver as an individual, where you might sponsor them to wear a particular brand of clothing, or perhaps watches and other accessories when not in the race.
The PSA has a lot of power with drivers who are active on social media since they can feature their sponsor’s brand in their life shots and through their various channels. Some may choose to get involved in this way to tap into the social influence of drivers and the positive impacts that can bring to other brands.
Track sponsorship comes in many forms, too. The biggest and most prominent way is to get a brand name attached to the race itself, such as the Geico 500 or Coca-Cola 600, etc. Obviously, such an entitlement is only possible for large companies with huge marketing budgets, but as we said, there are other points of entry here too.
Track signage is another prominent way that one can display their brand name, on billboards, logos on the grass, logos on the wall of the tracks, and more. These are all highly visible to fans there on race day, as well as those watching on TV and online. They’ll also be visible in the many repeats, and in the YouTube videos and highlight reels that are produced for mass consumption.
Sponsoring via the media is a little more indirect than working with the NASCAR teams, drivers or tracks directly, but it can also have the desired impact, for a price.
The main channels to sponsor NASCAR through media are the main TV broadcasters (Fox Sports and NBC), and also via the organization’s social media channels. Media sponsorship can see your logo featured on key broadcasts, social posts, and more.
As we have mentioned before, NASCAR sponsors form the “bread and butter” of the finances that help NASCAR teams and drivers work.
Teams and drivers strive hard to win to attract sponsors to them because this is the money that they can then use to properly maintain and operate their team through a season.
Team and driver winnings from each race are key, of course, but they can’t be guaranteed and are subject to all kinds of other circumstances. Sponsorship money, on the other hand, is more solid and dependable — just so long as the team is attractive to those sponsors.
Understanding the Importance of Sponsorship in NASCAR
While Sponsorship in NASCAR is crucial for the success and financial stability of teams and drivers. It provides teams with a steady source of income that helps them maintain their operations, invest in better technology, and stay competitive on the track.
Sponsorship also benefits the sponsors themselves, as it offers them brand visibility, association with popular drivers or teams, and an opportunity to tap into the passionate NASCAR fan base. In short, sponsorship is a mutually beneficial relationship that helps drive the sport forward – get it 😉
Sponsorship Negotiation Tips
Negotiating a successful sponsorship agreement in NASCAR is more than a simple email or phone call . Especially if its more than one race, and is planned for a longer duration.
Firstly, contract length is essential, as it determines the duration of the partnership and the sponsor’s commitment to the team or driver. Short-term contracts allow for more flexibility but may not yield the same long-term benefits as multi-year agreements.
Secondly, payment terms should be discussed, such as whether payments will be made upfront, in installments, or tied to performance milestones. It’s crucial to find a balance that works for both parties while ensuring financial stability for the team. Additionally, incorporating performance-based incentives can be a motivating factor for the team or driver.
Finally, negotiating additional benefits, like hospitality opportunities, driver appearances, or exclusive content rights, can further enhance the sponsorship’s value. By focusing on these elements, sponsors can secure a mutually beneficial partnership that aligns with their goals and budget and who doesn’t like free tickets! ( well not free but you get the idea)
Charity and Community Engagement
Involvement in charity and community engagement can significantly enhance a NASCAR sponsorship’s impact and public perception. By partnering with charitable organizations or local community projects, sponsors can showcase their commitment to making a positive difference while increasing brand affinity.
Examples of such initiatives include sponsoring charity races or events, supporting educational programs, or funding local environmental projects. These efforts not only create goodwill but can also resonate with fans and customers who appreciate the sponsor’s social responsibility.
Sponsors can collaborate with teams and drivers to organize the usually very popular events like meet-and-greets, autograph sessions, or fundraisers, which can help strengthen their connection with the local community.
Hosting or at least participating in these outreach initiatives can provide additional benefits to a NASCAR sponsorship beyond just advertising, creating a lasting impression on the target audience.
We will freely admit we are not marketing executives here at Motor Racing Sports, we are NASCAR fans, and we wrote this is our research to look at sponsorship for this website and to get our name out there on the side of a NASCAR or two.
So hopefully our research will help you, whether you work for a multinational or a state wide auto dealer, with some ideas on how to get into NASCAR sponsorship, and at what level will suit you.
Oh, and keep your eyes out for an ARCA race or two with our name racing round! You never know !