I understand that in our troubled economy today it is difficult to consider spending more money than is currently required. But that is what marketing is all about—spending money to make money.
Many businesses have lost sight of this fact in recent years, even more so in our current situation. The benefits of realizing this facet of business is immensely important for long term success of an organization.
If I were a CEO of a business who was itching to expand, do you know where I would start looking for an avenue to accomplish this desire? A NASCAR sponsorship.
Few can fathom why one would go such a route without understanding the dynamics of the sport. You'll hear that it's cheaper to advertise in magazines and on television, and on that level they would be right. But sponsoring a NASCAR team can reap rewards far beyond those classical methods.
Consider this, I live in the northern midwest and, as such, we have our own regional businesses. NASCAR expands upon my regional knowledge of businesses and introduces me to organizations which otherwise I would not be aware of. This is how I know of the the restaurant chain Golden Corral.
I have never been to one, as the nearest one is several hundred miles away, nor have I seen many ads for them. But because of NASCAR and their sponsorship of Travis Kvapil, and a few spring Atlanta races several years ago, I know who they are and the type of product and service they offer.
And if I was ever in an area with a Golden Corral I would certainly consider trying one out.
Also consider Jeremy Mayfield's sponsor for the 2009 Sprint Cup season, All-Sport. That was a product which was a large part of my life in my younger years and I was completely unaware that it was still being made. I now find myself searching various stores in the hopes of finding it to relive my youth.
These are merely a few of the benefits of a NASCAR sponsorship. As a business you have access to one of the largest, and devoted, television audiences on a weekly basis.
Numerous websites, blogs, and message boards discuss a team's new sponsorship and accompanying paint scheme in great detail. If that paint scheme and/or sponsor combination is a hit, associated merchandise can quite literally fly off the shelves.
As a business, how spectacular is it that a fan could wear a hat, a t-shirt, and own a bumper sticker and a diecast all with your organization's name on it.
Then there is the benefit of using a NASCAR sponsorship in other mediums. Having a representative show car of the actual car you sponsor travel to different locations would provide ample opportunity to bring individuals to your location.
What about having a driver endorse your organization via traditional adds and personal appearances? Could you get Terrell Owens to agree to sponsor appearances on a regular basis with the knowledge that if he didn't he couldn't play on Sunday? Of course not.
One also must consider the relation of the sponsorship to their employees. Many businesses cannot afford to sponsor an NFL or MLB stadium, but they can sponsor their employees' favorite driver and sport. Happier employees invariably produce a happier product.
So why aren't businesses flocking to NASCAR? The last decade has done much to rid the sport of its hillbilly-esque image. If anything, it is one of the most tantalizing sponsorship opportunities in any sport.
The truth is, many do not realize the vast benefits that can be gained by such a simple allocation of money. And with the inability to secure funds at the moment, most businesses are cutting funding from the least quantifiable aspects of the organizations, such as marketing.
As always, the tides will change and organizations' pocketbooks will reopen. The question becomes if they will have noticed the marginally tapped resources that NASCAR has to offer. Only time will tell...
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