Monday, February 19, 2007

NASCAR Marketing: It works both ways

In the marketing bonanza of NASCAR, corporations pay upwards of $20 million to place their logo on the car's hood, the driver's uniform, and the team's hauler. Secondary sponsors pay $1 million for a small quarter panel decal. I don't doubt the effectiveness of some of these deals - last night, in celebration of Kevin Harvick's Daytona 500 title, I inexplicably filled my car at a Shell station instead of at my usual Petro Canada. NASCAR is all about personalities and intense fan loyalties and, for every couple of drivers about whom a fan may obsess, there are at least five or six whom that fan despises. Thus, while I'm likely to drink Budweiser and shop at Bass Pro Shops to feel part of the "team", there's no chance that I'll darken the door of a Lowes store (Jimmie Johnson is a weenie) or be caught dead drinking a Miller Lite (Kurt Busch is a boor). I'd like to say that I am conducting a complete boycott of DuPont (Jeff Gordon is a cheater), but it's difficult to peel back paint to check the label. Thank goodness that Wendy's doesn't sponsor Kurt's brother Kyle...

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