“…NASCAR openly and aggressively bills itself as the best marketing opportunity in sports.”
This past week we have read about event sponsorship and branded entertainment. I am going to discuss this within a sports setting. According to a Sports Business Daily article in November, 63% of all NASCAR fans, and 73% among those considering themselves avid fans, would consider trying a product that is the official sponsor of NASCAR. This number is higher than any other major sports league in the US and is up 50.5% since 2008.
This begs the question, what makes NASCAR sponsorship so much more effective than any other sport?
One theory that could make NASCAR more effective is the sheer number of sponsors that attach their name to the sport. NASCAR has 75 sponsors, compared to 37 for the MLB and 26 in the NFL. These brands are shown on the website, the cars(40+ of them), and even the driver’s suits are sponsored. With this quantitative advantage, it makes sense that fans would be willing to try products, given the scope it covers.
Next we can take a look at the nature of competition within the sport. NASCAR has a clear advantage over the other major sports in the US based on the focus at the event. Fans are constantly watching the track, since there are no stoppages in play or media time outs. This creates a great opportunity for sponsors to have their brand seen, vaulting around a track lap after lap. There is less to attract attention away from the spectators at a race than there would be at a baseball or football game.
Another factor that plays into NASCAR’s marketing advantage is attendance. NASCAR races routinely host 100,000+ spectators, compared to 50,000-80,000 in the NFL and 20,000-40,000 in the MLB. These extra numbers are an opportunity to influence an audience that would not be available in other sports.
NASCAR is clearly a strong marketing opportunity with the focus constantly on the track, sheer number of sponsors, and the number of spectators that attend races.