The Recent History of NASCAR Losing Sponsorships

Published 12/27/2021, 3:00 AM EST
Sep 26, 2021; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Kyle Busch (18) during the South Point 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports


One of the most well-known sponsors in NASCAR, Mars or M&M’s, recently announced to pull the plug on their sponsorship of Joe Gibbs Racing after 2022. While this came as a shock to many fans, there’s actually a reason why Mars, or for that matter, multiple big brands have taken themselves out of the sport in the past.

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Think about this, the sport has lost brands like Kellogg’s, Red Bull, Pepsico, UPS, Home Depot, Target, Lowe’s among others in the last decade or so.

But why is this happening?

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Why are big-name sponsorships, the ones that really drive the economics in motorsports in general, are leaving NASCAR?

Brands may not see the value of sponsoring in NASCAR

To say that brands are pulling out of the sport because it is losing popularity would be a pretty dismissive thing to say. We have to consider the simple fact that any brand that sponsors a team, or a driver looks for a return on investment.

And it needs no mentioning that NASCAR has been facing a growth curve deficit for many years now.

So why would a well-known company invest the same amount of money for the same return on investment every year? Businesses work on that idea of growth, and if the ROI doesn’t increase, they invest elsewhere.

Sep 26, 2021; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Denny Hamlin (11) leads driver Kyle Busch (18) during the South Point 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Next Gen is on its way to improve the racing and the economics

But like always in life, there’s hope.

The Next Gen car is that hope that could spin the revs higher in terms of the economics of finances and fan ships in the sport. We all know that Next Gen is aimed at lowering the costs and increasing the racing action, but it’s also designed in a way to be more sponsor-friendly.

Look no further than the recent decision of moving the number placement on the car.

And along with that, NASCAR could also use the magic of marketing. Currently, the sport is still yet to penetrate into a new fan base simply because of its existing marketing strategy. This is something which, if changed and done well, could do wonders.

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The best example of great marketing elevating and taking a sport to a new fanbase is from Formula 1.

With a lot of changes and introductions set for the next season, it will be interesting to see how NASCAR copes with this problem.

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If everything goes well, the 2022 season could be one of the biggest breakthrough seasons for NASCAR, which in turn would rehabilitate its image for brands and sponsors as a fruitful place to invest in.

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Shaharyar

510 articles

Shaharyar is a Formula 1 & NASCAR writer at EssentiallySports. A graduate in Journalism from Amity University, he has been a passionate follower of motorsports for better part of the decade. A Max Verstappen and Ferrari supporter, he dreams of a pairing of the two in future.

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