Motorsports Sponsorship Spending to Total $3.5 Billion in 2008

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North American-based companies will spend an estimated $3.5 billion to sponsor motorsports teams, tracks and sanctioning bodies this year, up 9 percent from a $3.2 billion outlay in '07, according to IEG Sponsorship Report, the world's leading authority on sponsorship.

North American-based companies will spend an estimated $3.5 billion to sponsor motorsports teams, tracks and sanctioning bodies this year, up 9 percent from a $3.2 billion outlay in '07, according to IEG Sponsorship Report, the world's leading authority on sponsorship.

While the projected increase lags IEG SR's estimated 12.6 percent increase for the overall sponsorship industry, it is still impressive given the maturity of the motorsports category and its high cost of entry amid a slowing economy.

"Companies continue to view motorsports as a highly effective marketing platform, particularly in their ability to tap into the loyalty of fans," said William Chipps, IEG Sponsorship Report's senior editor.

As in years past, NASCAR will receive the bulk of North American sponsorship dollars. The major sponsorship development for the sanctioning body is Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co. replacing Anheuser-Busch, Inc.'s Busch beer as title of NASCAR's second-tier series.

Nationwide's involvement bodes well for both NASCAR and other Nationwide Series sponsors, Chipps said. "Nationwide's sponsorship opens the door to cross-promotions and other activation programs with companies that were hesitant to partner with a beer brand."

Another major deal heading into the new season: Coca-Cola North America's 10-year extension with NASCAR, a tie that followed the company beating out rival--and incumbent--PepsiCo Inc. for another major deal, a new 10-year agreement with multiple track owner Int'l Speedway Corp.

On the downside, Sears Holdings Corp. announced it will drop its long-standing title of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series after '08.

Continuing the trend from the past several years, sponsorship activity in open wheel racing remains flat. Apart from Old World Industries, Inc.'s Peak brand signing official motor oil status with the IndyCar Series and Indy 500, neither IRL nor Champ Car World Series has signed major deals.

About IEG, LLC
IEG is the world's leading provider of independent research, consulting, training and analysis on sponsorship. Founded in 1981, IEG provides corporations and properties with the strategies and tools to harness the sales and marketing power of sports, arts, entertainment and cause marketing.

IEG offers services that include sponsorship consulting, competitive intelligence and valuation. IEG also publishes IEG Sponsorship Report, the international biweekly newsletter on sponsorship; the IEG Sponsorship Sourcebook, the definitive guide to sponsors, properties and agencies; and other industry publications and sources.

IEG also is the leader in sponsorship training. Its internationally renowned Sponsorship Conference, now in its 25th year, attracts a capacity crowd of delegates each year. Through its conferences, seminars and webinars, IEG has trained more than 45,000 sponsorship executives worldwide.

For more information about IEG and the sponsorship industry, please visit http://www.sponsorship.com or call 800/834-4850 (outside the U.S. and Canada, 312/944-1727).

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William Chipps
IEG, LLC
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