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             26 November, 2020
 

    
Category:  Articles » Recreation & Sports

 

Sponsors Tough to Find for Earnhardt Ganassi and Yates.

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         Views: 1410
2009-04-01 08:19:44     
Article by Richard Paul

The lack of sponsorship for numerous teams in the Sprint Cup garage is further proof that NASCAR is not immune to the economic recession. It is not just a couple of small time, lower budget, field-filling teams that are encountering these difficulties. Some of NASCAR's top organizations are experiencing sponsorship issues.

As you well know, sponsors can make or break a team, or even an organization. Because expenses are so excessive, yet necessary in order to compete at this level in NASCAR, sufficient sponsorship is vital for proper funding. In other words, if you cannot find a company or group of companies to advertise on your racecar, you might as well keep the car and the crew at the shop. NASCAR is so sponsor dependent, almost to the point that it is vulnerable at a time such as this.

In the 1990's and even early 2000's, sponsoring a NASCAR team was actually a bargain. That is why you did not see too many cars with blank hoods and quarter panels on the track. Some five or six years ago, the sport entered into the mainstream, and due to the exposure and attention, expenses became higher, which meant the companies had to pay some big bucks in order to keep their piece of NASCAR advertising. In the process, several companies were unable to afford to sponsor a NASCAR team, or they did not see the need to pay the high prices.

Proctor and Gamble and its Tide brand sponsored a NASCAR team from 1987 to 2005 before pulling out. Citgo began marketing in NASCAR back in the early 1980's; however, by 2003, they could no longer afford to continue as a primary sponsor. Kodak, Pennzoil, McDonald's, GM Goodwrench, Motorcraft, and Valvoline significantly cut back their involvement in NASCAR sponsorship.

Just ask Chip Ganassi and Felix Sabates how difficult it is during this economic crunch. If you need further confirmation, well, you can speak with Doug Yates and Max Jones. Even Richard Petty, The King, had to merge with another organization in order to survive. In fact, Petty still has sponsorship issues with one of his teams.

After Chip Ganassi Racing merged with Dale Earnhardt Inc., they had hoped to field four full-time teams. However, the No. 41 team dissolved, and the No. 8 team is hanging on by a mere thread. Several of the Target affiliates have sponsored Aric Almirola and the No. 8 team, but not enough to compete full-time. The team is trying to remain optimistic.

"We're already having conversations with several companies that would be in position to take maybe even the whole second half or a large chunk of that. What we have to do is get there and right now we're getting there by getting as many people to sample what we're all about and what the sport is all about. Thus far, those that have done it, it has been a great success," said Earnhardt Ganassi Racing president Steve Lauletta.

Yates Racing driver Travis Kvapil could be a casualty of the poor economic conditions. Kvapil and his team finished 23rd in the Sprint Cup standings in 2008, but they have had to qualify their way into the races after their points were transferred to the new team with sponsorship driven by Paul Menard. Golden Corral and Farmers Insurance have sponsored Kvapil in select races, but neither expects to remain on the car for the duration of the season. If sufficient sponsorship funding continues to lack, it could be disastrous for Kvapil and the team, as they seemed to be on the brink of some solid performances just a few months ago.

A.J. Allmendinger, a rising star driving for Richard Petty Motorsports, may not compete in the full slate of races due to lack of sponsorship. Allmendinger ended the 2008 season with some noteworthy performances and finished third in this year's Daytona 500. However, if they cannot sign a long-term sponsor, they will only compete on a part-time basis.

These teams must perform in order to attract attention from interested companies, but sometimes, even performance does not open up the checkbook of these corporations.

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