The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, better known to the world as NASCAR, is undoubtedly one of the US’ most distinct brands. Founded in 1948, it is one of a few things that foreigners recognize as unmistakably American, as stock car racing does not enjoy significant popularity in other countries.
While the Dayton 500 is most likely the thing that most people link with American racing, another aspect of the four major national stock car racing series most laypeople are super aware of is the use of marketing in this sport. In essence, the public’s perception of racing teams is that these competitors are moving billboards. That trend started in the late 1970s when Junior Johnson got a sponsorship deal with the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company to offset financial uncertainty. However, most credit the CEO of the motor oil company Andy Granatelli and his multiple, three-decade sponsorship agreements dating back to the late-1960s as the person responsible for launching the thousand logo fad.
The reality concerning motor racing is that it is mind-bogglingly expensive. The costs associated with building an upper-echelon team far outweigh the potential prize money and available TV rights. Hence, those that do not get directly funded by a car manufacturer have to scrape every dollar they can find to remain competitive in this arena. That particularly applies in an age where viewership and overall interest decline every year, and advertising restrictions get imposed and changed frequently. Below, we rattle off a few brands that have attained the status of highly-popular advertisers in NASCAR and whose logos all fans of stock car racing have gotten used to seeing at tracks across the US.
Gambling and NASCAR have not always gone hand in hand. Yet, in 2018, the latter signed an integrity deal with SportsRadar for SR to develop a comprehensive gambling-related sponsorship policy for the association. In October 2021, Fubo teamed up with NASCAR via such a deal, and expectations are that more of the best online sportsbooks will do the same soon.
For the uninformed, FUBO is a streaming TV service that works with a wide range of sports leagues like the MLB, NBA, NHL, EPL, MLS, and many more. In early-2021, it entered the sports wagering arena by buying out sportsbook Vigtory to keep its viewers more engaged and generate more revenues.
Coca-Cola is a soft drink manufacturer that needs no introduction. It launched its operation in 1886 from Atlanta, Georgia, and over the years, it has managed to grow into the world’s most popular carbonated beverage. Today, Coca-Cola products get sold to over two hundred customers, and more than 1.8 billion of the company’s beverages get served daily. They entered the NASCAR realm in 1970, first sponsoring Don Tarr, before attaching themselves with Hall of Famer Bobby Allison. Allison’s red-and-gold Coke Chevrolet is a vehicle many hard-core fans surely remember.
In the 1980s, Coca-Cola teamed up with another Hall of Famer, Benny Parsons. During that same decade, they also took over the naming rights for NASCAR’s longest race, held at the Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, changing its name to the Coca-Cola World 600. The company has also branched into stock-car sponsorships via its Coke Zero and Mello Yello brands. They have even gone so far as to release exclusive NASCAR-themed Coke bottles, celebrating different racing events, drivers, and many of the sport’s milestones.
After State Farm, GEICO is the second-largest auto insurer in the US. It is a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway, supplying coverage for more than twenty-four vehicles in the US. Their headquarters are in Chevy Chase, Maryland, even though GEIGO got founded in 1936 in San Antonio, Texas.
Their involvement in NASCAR racing began over two decades ago, in 2001, when they decided to sponsor Kenny Wallace (Eel River Racing Pontiac) for one race, where he failed to qualify. They later moved to back Derrike Cope from Pontiac at the 2001 Brickyard 400. Unfortunately, he also did not make his race. Those were the brand’s first Cup Series sponsorships their nationwide ones also began that same year, with Ashton Lewis at the Homestead-Miami Speedway. GEICO also had one deal in the Truck Series back in 2004, when they partnered with Innovative Motorsports. They also funded the Germain Racing Team.
Nowadays, GEICO is the corporate sponsor of the Cup Series race held at the Talladega Superspeedway in Lincoln, Alabama. It has one of the four official tiered sponsorship agreements in the NASCAR Series.
XFINITY is more recognizable to the general public under its former name Comcast Cable. It is a division of the Comcast Corporation used to market consumer wireless, telephone, and internet services. XFINITY, as a brand, got introduced in 2010. It pulls in annual revenues of $52 billion as North America’s largest cable internet provider.
In 2014, NASCAR and the Comcast Corporation announced a partnership agreement that made XFINITY the third tiles sponsor in the three-decade existence of the series, which serves predominately as a proving ground, a minor-league circuit. The XFINITY 500 is a Comcast-sponsored stock-car race held every year at the Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, Virginia.