What makes a successful motor racing sponsorship?

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Answered by: Brian, An Expert in the NASCAR Racing - General Category
Most people don't understand the nature of racing sponsorship. To the casual observer, a motor racing sponsorship is a colorful sticker on the side of a race car. They express a motor racing sponsorship in bland terms like "exposure" or "impressions." But what they don't seem to grasp is that a truly successful motor racing sponsorship takes the one element that separates motor racing sponsorship from nearly every other sporting alternative and exploits it to the maximum. That one element is "passion."

Every race fan feels it and every race fan clearly understands that passion is what drives them to go to the races, to sit in the blazing sun to watch it and spend ample amounts of leisure time and resources in pursuit of their favorite sporting activity. They then, perhaps unknowingly, take that passion home with them and rekindle it through purchasing of sponsor product and affiliating themselves with the sponsor company. It's the peculiarly interactive and brand loyal result of a fan's close and personal brush with his or her favorite sport. It simply leaves an impression that may last for weeks, years, or even a lifetime.

Successful brands understand this unique capability and willingly place their brands directly within the vortex of the event via the sometimes overly simplified act of placing their corporate logo directly onto the racing car. The closer to the center of this action-packed pinnacle, the better.

The reason for all this "passion" may lie in the simple fact that beyond the color and excitement of the event itself, the underlying drama that unfolds before the viewer rests in the hands of the driver who seemingly risk their lives in their 200 mph pursuit of victory. One small error in judgment, one tiny miscalculation and the price paid can be beyond our comprehension. It can literally be life changing or even, ultimately, life taking.

This level of drama impacts that fan far beyond simple sports excitement. It becomes a gnawing pit in your stomach kind of excitement that lets you know that what you are witnessing is a more intense version, a more eyes-glued kind of visual and audible impact that demands attention every moment, every lap and every impression carried by the race fan throughout the day.

At the end of the day, he feels as if he feels what the driver feels, drained by the excitement yet rejuvenated by the thrill of it. The resulting and long lasting takeaway is often described simply as "passion" for the sport. The sport in general established the means to capitalize on on this passion by offering companies a simple way to incorporate their brand within this passionate context and establish themselves as like-minded corporate partners. You like racing? We like racing! So why not buy from us?

For the past forty years, this simple formula has spawned a sports sponsorship industry that is the envy of the world. More dollars are spent on motor racing sponsorship than any other sport - by far. It's not a sticker that sells sponsor products. It's the race fans' unrelenting passion for the sport and his drive to keep the fires burning from lap to lap, from race to race, from season to season.

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