How Much Is It to Sponsor a NASCAR Car or Driver?


How Much Is It to Sponsor a NASCAR Car or Driver

When you look at a NASCAR vehicle, what do you see? First you might see a mighty and powerful machine capable of immense speeds of 200-mph or more. But aside from that, you can’t help but see a giant advertising board on wheels. The same is true when you look at the drivers. First you recognize their skill and dedication, but once again it can’t escape one’s notice that this person is coated in various logos and advertising materials.

Although Sponsoring a Top NASCAR Cup series Race car can cost upwards of 300,000 dollars a year, the cost for other National series racing drops to 10000 to 20000 and less prominent sponsorships positions can be as little 1-4000 across the national series. Entry level racing like ARCA is even lower in price.

All of these things, of course, are the work of the sponsors, people without whom NASCAR as a team sport simply wouldn’t happen. What’s even more interesting to some is how different drivers have different sponsors on their clothing and cars, even those who are driving on the same team. What’s this all about? How much do these sponsors pay? We’re taking a deep dive into the world of NASCAR sponsorship.

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How Much Is It to Sponsor a NASCAR Car or Driver?

How Does NASCAR Sponsorship Work?

NASCAR divides its sponsorship packages into three different tiers, namely:

  • Supporting Sponsorship
  • Associate Sponsorship
  • Primary Sponsorship

We’ll look at these in more detail further below. While logos are placed on both the driver’s suit and the car, it’s the ads on the car that get the most visibility since we tend to see more of the cars than the drivers. Ad placements are priced according to location on the car, with primary sponsors getting their placements on the hood, roof, and front quarter panels.

Other segments where ads are sold include the rear deck lid (trunk lid, to most people), rear quarter panels, C-pillar, B-post, and the TV panel which is essentially just the back end of the vehicle where you’d find a car logo, badging, taillights, etc. Let’s now take a closer look at how the different sponsorship levels work.

Supporting Sponsorship

This is the most basic level of sponsorship, and is available on a per-race basis meaning that what you buy doesn’t get you a spot on the car or driver clothing for the whole season. The purpose of these sponsorships is to help offset the more minor costs that come with each race, such as travel expenses, tires, meals, and basic logistics. Supporting membership sponsors pay anywhere from $400 to $900 per race.

  • NASCAR Truck Series           $400
  • Xfinity                                   $500
  • Cup Series                            $900

Associate Sponsorship

This mid-level sponsorship gets buyers their logo on prominent areas of the car or truck, such as the lower rear quarter panels, B-pillar, C-pillar, and rear deck lid. The price paid depends on both the particular NASCAR series they’re entering into, and the current status of the team in rankings. It looks a little something like this, with costs ranging from $1,500 to $20,000.

 Team RankTruck Series ($)Xfinity ($)Cup Series ($)
Rank 31-40 Team1,5002,0004,000
Rank 21-30 Team4,0006,00010,000
Rank 1-20 Team8,00010,00020,000

Associate sponsors also get 2 “hot passes” per race, which allows them greater access to the team before, during and after the race to get photos with cars, drivers and other team members. This obviously has huge promotional value for them.

Primary Sponsorship

Primary sponsors not only get their logos in the best and most visible locations on the car, they also receive additional PR and media support, and receive sponsors’ seats in the pit box among other hospitality opportunities, and get 6-8 hot passes per race. The costs for Primary sponsorship range from $10,000 to $300,000.

 Team RankTruck Series ($)Xfinity ($)Cup Series ($)
Rank 31-40 Team10,00012,00030,000
Rank 21-30 Team25,00050,000100,000
Rank 1-20 Team100,000150,000300,000
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How Much Is It to Sponsor a NASCAR Car or Driver?

Why Do NASCAR Teams Need So Many Sponsors?

When you look at many sports teams and venues around the world, they often have a single primary or corporate sponsor that then dominates their sports clothing or uniforms, and could even become the name of their home stadium. But motorsports like NASCAR tend to have many, many more sponsors than you might typically expect, and why is that?

The main reason is the sheer cost of running a NASCAR team. Here’s a basic breakdown of the main costs for a team running 2 cars in a Cup Series race:

  • Cars: $400,000 each
  • Team salaries: Approx. $3 million a year
  • Driver salaries: from $450,000-500,000 for a rookie; several million for a top-10 driver
  • Travel/Logistics: Approx. $1 million per year
  • Tires: $30,000 per race at least, often more
  • Engines: $100,000 each – usable for one race only

In all, running a NASCAR team can cost in the region of $500,000 a week, on average. If your team is achieving wins, gaining more recognition and climbing the ranks, then the pressure to keep it up raises costs even more, and the pressure to get top sponsors increases exponentially.

Therefore, sponsorships and ad sales are a critical part of keeping teams alive. One thing you might not know is that sponsorship doesn’t stop with the car and the driver’s suits. The teams will also put their sponsors’ logos on their website, and of course those with hot passes take further advantage of their sponsorship status with access to the pit, drivers, and other team members to make it work for them. That’s a big part of attracting top-level sponsors.

On top of that, teams need to be sure that they can work with reputable companies. It’s not just a question of who pays the most, or first-come first-served. Teams with many offers from sponsors have more choices and thus can cover their cars, drivers, and web platforms with more recognizable names that people also love and connect with. Those with fewer offers have fewer choices.

In addition, driver behavior and reputation becomes paramount when dealing with sponsors. Drivers who get caught up in scandals, or who are criticized for their poor behavior online or in public, are bound to drive sponsors away who don’t want to be associated with that behavior.

Grass Roots NASCAR Sponsorship.

We all have to start somewhere, and that is as true for potential sponsors as it is for NASCAR Drivers. For smaller businesses it is worth considering sponsoring on a more local level at ARCA, KART, or junior level racing to build relationships and to get more local or state wide coverage but may be more suitable for local businesses.

Less competitive Truck Sponsorships can cost from 1-4000, however If national sponsorship is not required then ARCA logo placements are able to be acquired from 150 to 500 USD depending on the placement and team success. Bandolero and Legend Racing will offer sponsorships and placements even less than this.

These can be much more affordable, and much more targets and of course business are then helping the sport at a grassroots level which will support the whole sport in the long run developing drivers who otherwise might not get a chance.

Conclusion

It is certainly expensive to put your logo on to a high level NASCAR race car and beyond the reach of most SME’s ( small to medium Enterprises) however if you would like to aim lower and support grassroots racing, or even lower tier national racing, it is possible to sponsor race cars for less money, as we highlighted above.

Although we looked at the National expenses for Race car Sponsorship in NASCAR for smaller business ther eis also the option to sponsoring ARCA, Late models or other entry level racing and developing relationships with the next generation of races. It is great optics and gives race drivers without the pull of national media and eyes a chance to progress!

References

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