The sharp drop in sponsorship prices for NASCAR assets is creating concerns at every level, from NASCAR headquarters to the race teams with unsold inventory to the sponsors with multi-year deals at prices that now seem inflated. Clearly, it’s a buyer’s market for NASCAR sponsors.
The question is whether NASCAR’s efforts to remake itself and the new reality of lower price expectations have finally coalesced to create a real opportunity for sponsors who are prepared to bring a new eye to the sport. Based on the leverage Monster Energy is generating for its lower-priced Cup sponsorship with its partners at Kroger, the new inventory prices being accepted by race teams, and the progress NASCAR is making in appealing to an expanded attendance base, we think the value window is opening for sponsors who have cash to deploy and creative strategies for building brand engagement.
But our bet is that the deals of the future will not look like the deals of the past. Besides lower prices, sponsors will be expecting more flexibility to limit downside risk (shorter terms, more opt-outs), more experiential opportunities at the track and off, and better data that NASCAR’s efforts to remake itself are translating into broader demographics and new opportunities for fan engagement.
As value becomes an increasing driver of sponsorship investment decisions, pro-actively managing the related contracts, assets and events becomes more and more important. The spreadsheets, emails and one-off apps historically used for this purpose create inefficiency, limit access to information, increase execution risk and make analysis difficult. As a result, sponsors and agencies are looking to new cloud-based tools such as Playoff Tech’s Sponsor Locker to manage their sports sponsorship contracts, assets and events in a single integrated platform. By optimizing results and creating exceptional event experiences, these tools help sponsors leverage the value of their sponsorship investments.