Walmart has issued a statement that they will not be sponsoring Jeff Gordon’s Hendrick Motorsports team.
NASCAR has been the subject of several published reports that the world’s largest retailer was in negotiations with Hendrick Motorsports to sponsor the No. 24 car for next season.
The possible addition of Walmart to the line-up of car sponsors would have been big news for NASCAR, which has had few sponsorship dollars added to the Cup series in the last two years.
The possibility even existed that Walmart may have been able to enter into a sponsorship agreement (with any team) that might have been for less money than the cost of the going rate that was seen just a few years ago.
As an example of the sponsorship reductions, Budweiser has announced that its sponsorship will go to the No. 29 Richard Childress team for next year but only for 20 races.
This is a reduction from the full season sponsorship that Budweiser has had with various teams for many years.
The reduction in sponsorship is in line with the direction the new owner of Budweiser, InBev, (which in July 13, 2008 combined with Anheuser-Busch under the name Anheuser-Busch InBev) has taken.
InBev has been raising money to pay off the debt incurred during the take-over, including selling off A-B assets such as the entertainment division which included the namesake Busch Gardens.
Fox News, citing un-named sources, had reported six companies that already have NASCAR sponsorship connections: Coca-Cola, Kraft, Mars, MillerCoors, Proctor & Gamble and Unilever, had met in early August to talk about advertising possibilities if Walmart entered the NASCAR arena.
On Wednesday August 25, Walmart released a statement as an Editor’s Note to an in-house newsletter that mentioned the “numerous news stories” and concluded with the following sentence: “While we continue to employ a range of marketing initiatives to deliver our message of Save Money Live Better to our customer [sic], this is not one will be doing.”