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TSK

Staff member
Nitro Member
Good article. But, while drag races happen quickly for today’s attention-lacking crowd, that also amounts to less visibility of the sponsors on TV or in print.
If a car goes out in the first round, that’s all the exposure that sponsor is going to get for the entire race.
And, let’s be honest, coverage of the drivers themselves is not equal.
Cameron Ferre is a great kid. We first met when he drove the Invader NFC for us at Tulsa in 2014. He has since worked his way up to Top Fuel. We spoke at the Gators this year and he is still as personable as he was when I first met him.
I’ve followed him ever since then. I really hope he does well but in a recurring theme, money, or the lack thereof, is an issue. When is the last time he was interviewed during a broadcast over an entire weekend?
It’s not just Cameron who doesn’t get covered. There have been many conversations regarding some drivers getting zero, or very little, coverage while others are always on, regardless of how well they do, or don’t do, during a race.
Get Cameron in a well funded ride and I’m confident he will do well. But, if nobody knows about him, how can he get a big sponsor?
At least with the roundy-round racers, unless the car wrecks or blows up, the sponsor’s name is going to be visible for “x” number of hours while the race is ongoing.
While drag races may be appealing to those who can’t put their phones down, the amount of exposure for sponsorship dollars spent is nowhere as high as it is for the circle racers.
What’s the solution? Heck if I know. I’m sitting here watching Live PD.
Hopefully, for the sake of the sport, somebody a lot smarter than I am can figure it out.
 

mikebcurve

Nitro Member
How about a small ticker at the bottom of the screen scrolling all the qualifiers top sponsor logo the whole race? Then it doesn’t matter if they go out first round. Just a thought.
 

AC

Nitro Member
Great article. In todays society with the ability to reach millions and millions of people very quickly via social media its a battle for advertising funds. its hard to compete with the ways our new society gets its information. The great thing about nhra is how the fans are in the pits seeing the cars and branding on them but now try competing with a instagram ad, youtube video ad, or the newer way of marketing “brand ambassadors”. Id love to see the data regarding how old the followers are for motorsports drivers and teams compared to some of these brand ambassadors. Its a tough sell.

She hit the nail on the head with the newer generation and there lack of love for motorsports. This is where i also feel the nhra lacks and is missing a huge market, where is their online video game? Look at E racing, some of these events for sim racing have manufacture back/funded race teams and sponsors. On iracing you can race all different sorts of cars, lots of the younger genrations are doing it and can help fuel new racers as well as exposure for marketing partners. Heck even supercross has a game.

I think the days of fortune 500 companies pouring major dollars into racing are slowly coming to an end Due to competition and also the financial responsibility they have to boards and stockholders.
 

sammi

Nitro Member
Great piece by Susan Wade and Tami Powers. Glen Cromwell and the NHRA are at a crossroads. They can either seize this opportunity and get the sport healthy again, or they can stay in their circle the wagons, things are good because I am on the inside and you are not mode.

On the topic of leadership, one of the things that I think Wally Parks was really good at was being the undisputed leader in public. His damn picture appears nearly everywhere in the sport. Charisma is the nitromethane of any organization, particularly auto racing. Why does JFR have more sponsors than the NHRA? Because it is easy to tell who runs the show and the decision maker is sitting in the boardroom making the pitch.
 

FABMAN

Nitro Member
I live outside of Kansas City and last night they had Truck series race at Kansas Speedway with hardly any warm seats a cool night didn't help but even warm days they're pretty much empty . Thanks to FS1 the race was shown. Every early Summer HPT has Drag Race which is nearly sold out every year, and is show on FS1 and NHRATV and shown on FS1 or FS2 daily for weeks after race. How much more do you need to get M&M, BEER, and so many other big company's to look at Drag Racing. .I'm shocked at how few people work for NHRA Marketing. They could play a big part in getting Sponsors interested in spending there money in this great sport, there is so many. Alan Johnson should have at least a 2 car team, Tony should never missed a day in seat and so many young people in sportsman categories that would have great opportunities. Look at big Jim Dunn his team has Funny car covered with sponsors at every race. I don't know the answer but there are a lot of young smart people that could filled those shoes.
 

Mikey

Nitro Member
I don't race as much as I use to, but its still the same problem....NHRA has the official drink and the official this and that. They won't allow competing brands to sponsor cars.....So when it was Powerade and racer Joe Blow gets a gatorade sponsorship...guess what sorry cant race here!! I understand title sponsors and stuff and they pay a lot to be the title sponsor, but competition would be great and will get more sponsors in. Its like Tony S. said its hard to get a sponsor when you have other competing brands sponsoring your teammates.....It should not have to be like that. Now I have no knowledge of this so if I am wrong...I am wrong, but maybe NHRA wants their cut so some sponsors bail at the last minute.....TV coverage while a little better than ESPN is still horrible. Joe Blow goes to the semis and the interview the loser instead....I know we cant go back to the Diamond P days, but at least take a look at what was done. Steve Evans can never be replaced. I always wanted to be able to get interviewed by him..
 

Al

Nitro Member
It was an interesting and surprisingly long article. And yes, it is a good idea for all the parties involved to have these "uncomfortable conversations". And this article may open some doors to these conversations. BUT, I didn't see any real solutions suggested. Like many of you hard core drag racing fans, I have always supported brands that support our sport. I always drank Bud for example, but when they were bought-out they stopped all sports marketing, not just drag racing (so I boycotted them). Many other "official" products have left for other reasons beyond anyone's control. So my question is, other than "talking", what else does she expect NHRA to do ?
 

FABMAN

Nitro Member
It was an interesting and surprisingly long article. And yes, it is a good idea for all the parties involved to have these "uncomfortable conversations". And this article may open some doors to these conversations. BUT, I didn't see any real solutions suggested. Like many of you hard core drag racing fans, I have always supported brands that support our sport. I always drank Bud for example, but when they were bought-out they stopped all sports marketing, not just drag racing (so I boycotted them). Many other "official" products have left for other reasons beyond anyone's control. So my question is, other than "talking", what else does she expect NHRA to do ?
There is a solution be creative and aggressive like she stated just like Bernstein and Budweiser they're out there our economy s best it has ever been, money is waiting to spent.q
 

SundayNiagara

Nitro Member
NHRA was built with LOVE. Parks, Hart, Dismuke, the Seven Dwarfs, later came Gibbs, Mac, Densmore & Earwood. All that LOVE is GONE. :(
 

Rudos1

Nitro Member
There is a solution be creative and aggressive like she stated just like Bernstein and Budweiser they're out there our economy s best it has ever been, money is waiting to spent.q
I said this recently and got flamed like crazy but it is true....
 

dutch52

Nitro Member
It was an interesting and surprisingly long article. And yes, it is a good idea for all the parties involved to have these "uncomfortable conversations". And this article may open some doors to these conversations. BUT, I didn't see any real solutions suggested. Like many of you hard core drag racing fans, I have always supported brands that support our sport. I always drank Bud for example, but when they were bought-out they stopped all sports marketing, not just drag racing (so I boycotted them). Many other "official" products have left for other reasons beyond anyone's control. So my question is, other than "talking", what else does she expect NHRA to do ?
good post allan --- i agree with u... its a shame that corprate america companys r just not comming into our sport enough ... lets not condim NASCAR for what they have done , over the yrs they have attracted many many big companys and have kept them ,most, for a long time .. dont get me wrong, i love the sport and car count has been going down from TF to TAFC for yrs ... and , its not NHRA's business to get sponsors for any team , they have enough to do in the organization .. there r marketing companys to serch for u , but , u gotta pay them to do that .. force,shoe,kallitta,tasca,dunn,wilky,etc., they got those deals, with in there on racing company ... we need "MORE" competetive tf/fc's for sure, there r so many slugs out there,they dont help the bump, but ----- there doing the best they can with the experience/budget and etc .. and another thing, lets not replace PS with PM, the same thing might happen to that class ... david d
 

Jimbo

Nitro Member
Great Read!
Finding people interested in drag racing who are willing to spend their money is becoming harder all the time.
It's not just drag racing either! NASCAR guy's are also having the exact same problem.

Jim Hill
Nostalgic Racing Decals
 

dononeal

Nitro Member
I enjoy reading the comments, please keep them coming. The note about Cameron is correct. We (Cameron and I) talk about these topics in length on our podcast. There are many speedbumps in the organization, business plan and right down to the grassroots of creating content and gaining new customers. Is it difficult? Yes, it is not clear and cut outside the board room doors. Many companies do not believe that certain types of motorsports are having the growth that some other sports are having, example Supercross. However, that being said, we (NHRA Drag Racing) have a benefits list that we need to exploit, yet, that does take changes in contracting, the way ahead of thinking, all of which do not happen overnight. That being said, I am here with my marketing, business, and race car driver hat on saying," tell the back story of the future racers, the racers that can relate with people in the stands." I will stand outside any retail, any business, any manufacturing plant, any school to talk to people about a sport that I so dearly love. Now let's go racing!

Don O'Neal
US Army, Ret.
Podcast Co-Host
The driver of the NGK/NTK LSX Top Sportsman Camaro
Streetway Marketing & Media, Director.
 

sammi

Nitro Member
If the races don't excite the top management of the organization and they don't appear, represent and actively promote , how is the organization going to excite a business or individual outside the sport. How many times , over the past decade, do you remember seeing the top brass on camera truly excited about the event the membership trusts them to promote. Now compare this to how many times over the same decade have your seen John Force, Roger Penske or Joe Gibbs on camera.
 

SoCal Racer

Nitro Member
Good article that seems more like an effort to reach out to NHRA and ask for cooperation that would benefit all, rather than just bashing them. She presents a laundry list of sponsors - some formerly in the sport – and asks, why not now? Possibly angered and chased off by NHRA policies? NHRA could help by ending the "no competing products" policy that keeps many sponsors away because they are not the “official” this or that brand. After all, if your brand is any good it can withstand a little competition, and a title sponsor is still going to get premier exposure. Competition - hey that's what the sport is about! - is always good for the consumer, and in this case the entire sport.

She’s right about the need to educate the corporate marketers. When they think, “Hey, maybe motorsports.....” I suspect NASCAR is first to mind. And that’s one thing NASCAR has done well, making itself a household name in motorsports. When I talk to non-racing people about racing I have to explain what drag racing is because all they know is NASCAR. But when it comes what drag racing offers there is simply no other motorsport that can compare. The ROI may be less, but it's not nil. I'm not a marketer, but I would think spending some money in a sport that's not saturated with competing brands might be a good move.

Mark's comment on NHRA "circling the wagons" is insightful, as there's never been a better time to stop playing defense and go on the offense; that is get the NHRA brand out there. Our economy is great right now - perhaps even better for corporations than consumers - which means advertising dollars are available. So strike while the iron is hot! As consumers we have many choices, and I will in most cases choose the brand that supports drag racing. But there are many products and services that I use that have no representation in drag racing for their genre of business, so opportunity knocks!
 

none

Nitro Member
Good article that seems more like an effort to reach out to NHRA and ask for cooperation that would benefit all, rather than just bashing them. She presents a laundry list of sponsors - some formerly in the sport – and asks, why not now? Possibly angered and chased off by NHRA policies? NHRA could help by ending the "no competing products" policy that keeps many sponsors away because they are not the “official” this or that brand. After all, if your brand is any good it can withstand a little competition, and a title sponsor is still going to get premier exposure. Competition - hey that's what the sport is about! - is always good for the consumer, and in this case the entire sport.
Just to clarify, being an "Official Partner of NHRA" does not close the door on competing sponsors. The Series Sponsor Mello Yello get's exclusivity, they are the only one.

A couple of examples.
Toyota is the Official Car of NHRA. Chevrolet, Ford and Dodge all have a Very Big presence in the pits and the sport.
Lucas is the Official Oil, but Pennzoil sponsors cars, teams, and races. Red Line and others are also heavily involved
Summit is the Official Mail Order, but JEGS is everywhere.

That's just a few,

Alan
 

Jim

Nitro Member
NHRA could DEFINITELY do more but - it's still pretty much a Do It Yourself responsibility.

Don't tell me there isn't a demand for our product that reaches down to the younger generation.
This guy has 1.3 million SUBSCRIBERS on YouTube and gets 300,000 viewers within a day of posting his videos. Much of his stuff is silly but fun...and he even runs his own "shows" at major Drag Strips.

https://www.youtube.com/user/GARRETTmitch
 

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