NASCAR:The Official Hypocrite of NASCAR
NASCAR has created a problem by awarding official sponsorships for seemingly any product. What is worse is the preferential treatment of certain sponsors by NASCAR.
Companies fork over more money to become the official ___ of NASCAR. The limits on what a company can officially sponsor are practically endless. Combos is the official Cheese-Filled food for crying out loud.
In some cases, NASCAR is willing to take on everyone who is interested. For example, there is not an official beverage of NASCAR. Instead there is an official beer (Budweiser), soft drink (Coca-Cola), sports drink (Powerade), juice (Minute Maid), wine (Diageo) and water (Dasani). If that isn't complicated enough, consider Calloway is the official golf ball while Top-Flite is the official golf club. NASCAR has an official manufacturer (
With the latest sponsor conflicts however, either NASCAR is not interested in accommodation or NEXTEL and Sunoco have too much control over operations. With Nextel as the title sponsor, Cingular and Alltel were granted grandfather exceptions because they were in the sport prior to Nextel's involvement. Now Cingular is getting re-branded as AT&T, but NASCAR and Nextel is crying foul. Although it is the same company as Cingular, Richard Childress Racing can not show the AT&T logos on Jeff Burton’s #31 car. AT&T has filed a lawsuit. Robby Gordon was also initially denied use of the Motorola logos on his car. The ironic part is that Nextel is merging with Sprint, and the series will change to the NASCAR Sprint Cup as soon as 2008.
What is more, another RCR car, Kevin Harvick’s #29 was earlier asked to not feature the Shell logo as prominently on his car or firesuit due to the competition with Sunoco, the official fuel of NASCAR. Harvick’s car now features a smaller Shell logo plus the Pennzoil logo. Sunoco does not even have stations in some parts of the country.
It is not the first time a sponsor conflict has grabbed headlines. In 2004, as the official sports drink of NASCAR, Powerade paid for exposure in
Official sponsorships should not grant exclusivity. One of the results of a free market is competition. It is usually a good thing. Home Depot and Lowe's both spend lots of money in NASCAR to gain exposure for their companies. All four car manufacturers coexist.
Things might be different is this was a sport with franchises like the NFL. NASCAR teams are independent of the governing body. They have to pay the expenses to compete and enter races. To use the analogy of a party, NASCAR is basically sending out invitations to teams and requiring that they bring a date (sponsor money). Then when the teams and their dates get to the door, NASCAR is refusing certain dates for not being on the list.
NASCAR should not be able to dictate how or where that money comes from. If a creative “official sponsor” title can not be found, NASCAR must at least allow teams to bring their own sponsors to the party no matter who it is.
My Tuesday bug (a day late):
Local news stations. Instead of teasing a story for half an hour, how about getting to the point and covering more stories. Teases must work at some level, but I can’t be the only one that just wants a straight story. Last night one local