Monster Energy re-upped for the 2019 NASCAR season to remain as the title sponsor of the sport. NASCAR COO Steve Phelps says it is “highly unlikely” Monster will be back in 2020. To build on that NASCAR is ok with Monster not coming back in 2020 as they look towards a new sponsorship set up within the series.
“For Monster, I think it would be highly unlikely that they would come back,’’ Steve Phelps said. “Both NASCAR and Monster, I believe, are on the same page on that. I wouldn’t say there is anything there hard and fast, but it is highly unlikely that they would return or we would have them return. That is not one-sided. That’s a decision that has been made by both companies. It will give us an opportunity to explore what this new (sponsorship) model looks like.’’
What It Means
Out with title sponsors in 2020 and in with the NASCAR Cup Series, or NASCAR Premier Series. Hopefully, the Cup Series because Premier sounds pretentious as hell and lets be honest, cup is easier to spell than premier. Every now and then you have to pull a Gluck and pander to the crowd a little.
As Steve Phelps said NASCAR is looking a new sponsorship model. There isn’t a catchy name on it yet so it’s not a true NASCAR model at the moment. However, as soon as it has a nice name we’ll be sure to tell you.
What Is This New Model?
NASCAR wants to combine assets essentially to make sponsorship easier across the board. Their model would be to bundle the sanctioning body, tracks and media partners instead of having to do separate deals with each like Monster had to. When the energy drink company signed on at the end of 2016 they had to negotiate with each track for signage, etc.
Part of the reason the Monster Energy roll out seemed so lackluster was because of this. If you went to a Monster Energy race last season at certain tracks you’d wonder if you were at the right place. In 2018 there is a noticeable increase in signage around tracks as well as Monster/NASCAR’s relationship.
Combining all the assets into one deal is the most attractive model for potential sponsors. Think about this, would you rather sponsor at the track or would you rather your money go towards sponsoring at the track and on TV? The latter is obviously more appealing. If they said hey since you pay for cable to watch races, do you want to go to a race as well? You’d be scanning the schedule faster than Steve Wallace could wreck a car.
This Isn’t A Death Sentence For NASCAR
All of the NASCAR grave dancers are out in full force. Big dumb head Darren Rovell thinks this is terrible for the sport. Surely Bromberg hasn’t stopped jizzing his pants over this. It’s not a death sentence though, we’ll likely not even see a difference in the way the sport operates.
When Barclays left the Premier League they didn’t fold. In fact no one even panicked, no one wrote death pieces like they are about NASCAR. No one is saying the sport is dead, that it’ll cease to exist. Every year people say the NFL won’t exist in 10 years and every year that’s just one more year the 10-years is pushed back.
NASCAR is going to go about this like the Premier League did. Instead of a title sponsor, the league has “official sponsors” much like NASCAR has the “official sponsors” of the sport. The EPL has one “lead partner” and five “official sponsors” who get a majority of the signage, etc. NASCAR will likely do the exact same thing.
By doing that they are spreading the cost across six companies instead of one and they’re interchangeable. One lead sponsor will pay more than the five official partners. The official sponsors will pay the same amount and instead of one company footing the bill for $50M/yr, it will be six companies doing that.
The one downside to this is a team or two will likely lose a sponsor. If you’re Fastenal you have to look at sending your $10M a year to NASCAR for guaranteed advertisement versus relying on Ricky Stenhouse Jr. to run well enough to get coverage on TV.
NASCAR will be perfectly fine. Sponsors like Winston don’t exist anymore. Times have changed, the way companies spend money has changed and NASCAR is attempting to adapt to that. Speaking of Winston, give up tobacco sponsorship back. Money problems solved.