One For The Record Books: Motorsports Sponsorship To Decline In '09

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North American-based companies will spend an estimated $3.3 billion to sponsor motorsports teams, tracks and sanctioning bodies this year, a nearly six percent decline from the $3.5 billion spent in '08, according to IEG Sponsorship Report, the world's leading authority on sponsorship.

North American-based companies will spend an estimated $3.3 billion to sponsor motorsports teams, tracks and sanctioning bodies this year, a nearly six percent decline from the $3.5 billion spent in '08, according to IEG Sponsorship Report, the world's leading authority on sponsorship.

The projected decline is a first since IEG SR began tracking motorsports spending in 1985.

As automakers and other sponsors look for ways to reduce spending, the big-ticket prices associated with major racing sponsorships have become harder to justify, and many companies have backed away from previous levels of commitment. Where earlier periods saw a pipeline of other companies willing to step up and take their place, today the overall economic picture has dried up the stream of potential new dollars, at least for now.

"Deals are still being done, but not at the same level as in previous years," said William Chipps, IEG Sponsorship Report's senior editor.

The coming year is likely to see primary team sponsors looking to sell-off some of their inventory to offset expenditures, as well as more deals done for less than a full season and for as little as one race, Chipps added.

The projected spending amount reflects both reductions in spending and elimination of programs from previous sponsors such as Domino's Pizza, Kodak and others, but also some new sponsor dollars that have served to prevent the decline from being even more severe.

Looking at some of the positive activity: Search engine Ask.com this year will launch a multi-faceted NASCAR program that includes a tie to the sanctioning body and title of a Hall of Fame Racing Sprint Cup Series entry driven by Bobby Labonte.

In addition, Mars North America signed a multiyear extension with NASCAR spanning four categories: chocolate, chocolate bar, cheese-filled snack and pet food.

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 26th 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
312-944-1727
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