NASCAR speaker says sponsorship important but complex

Bob Duvall says multi-year sponsorship is best

From a small, family-owned business to an international phenomenon with hundreds of employees, NASCAR is an organization that knows the importance of relationships stated one top-level spokesperson July 26.

Speaking at the Chamber of Commerce luncheon at the Executive Royal Inn, Bob Duvall, senior director of business development who traveled to Canada from Indianapolis, Indiana to watch several entries in NASCAR’s Canadian edition, The Pinty’s Series, spoke to the chamber crowd about branding and marketing relationships.

Duvall, who began with NASCAR south of the border 20 years ago, noted that several large marketing partners had just parted with NASCAR when he came on board. He said the auto-racing giant saw what the NFL did with its marketing partners, particularly TV.

NASCAR saw how racetracks on its annual circuit developed and signed their own marketing deals, leaving it up to the tracks to get the best deal they could. However, NASCAR liked how the NFL did their TV deal: get everyone on board and sign one deal with a TV network, then split the revenue among all partners. So that’s what they did.

However, Duvall said branding and marketing deals can be extremely complex. For example, the tracks, vehicles and drivers are covered in sponsorship ads and some of the products are owned by competing brands that don’t want to be pictured together on television.

“So it is a very complex world,” said Duvall. On top of that he said some tracks develop exclusive deals for things like endorsement, food and oil.

Of course, the benefits of sponsorship is the cash received can offset the cost of running a racing team.

Duvall said he strongly feels promotion or endorsement deals should be multi-year, and that a plan be laid out for more than just the first year. Goals should be identified for year two, three and so on.

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