Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Still Waiting On TV Issues From Sprint Problems


Click here for the official word from NASCAR.com about the massive layoffs just announced by Sprint, the title sponsor of NASCAR's top series.

Sprint has deep ties to all three of the TV networks involved in broadcasting the series and the Chase for the Championship. Advertising, sponsorship and integrated marketing efforts are everywhere in the sport.

Story links, just click on the title:
Kansas Star - Video story on Sprint layoffs.
USA Today on Sprint's cost-saving measures.

As this story continues to develop and the media ramifications become apparent, we will update this post. Please feel free to leave your comments on this topic below.

14 comments:

alex said...

That's pretty rough. As someone who was unemployed for 8 months, I hope those affected are able to get back on their feet quickly. If Sprint is looking to save money, they should cut back a little on their advertising and promotion. I think that the naming rights to the series and media exposure that goes with it are advertising enough.

I wonder if Nascar misses RJR?

Anonymous said...

Sprint's stock has nosedived. They are losing customers at a rapid rate.
Wonder if they can fulfill the remainder of the NASCAR sponsorship? I do not believe that the NASCAR sponsorship has achieved the desired results for Sprint.

I'll bet AT&T would love to step in and take it over!

majorshouse said...

It makes me wonder how much longer Sprint will be a viable partner to promote NASCAR racing. They have really been bleeding all year long and it makes me wonder how long it will be beofre they are in some sort of bankruptcy.

Tracy said...

I'll bet it won't be long before Sprint is out of Nascar. Then what? I heard the Camping World deal was a real bargain for naming rights.

Maybe it's going to return to the days of "the Cup." Wouldn't that be interesting?

Vicky D said...

My husband and I have been saying this all along - I hope Nascar received their money from Sprint - it sounds pretty bleak now. It's exactly what happened to several teams when the sponorship money never materialized.

Dot said...

I'm curious to know how much money the CEO of Sprint makes. I honestly believe that the CEOs of all the major companies have contributed to the economic downturn of our country.

Knowing NASCAR they will paint a rosy picture. Days later we will read that Sprint has been chewed up by another cell phone company, ala Alltel.

Whoever the next Cup sponsor is, I hope they will allow their competitors to sponsor the cars. I wasn't about to change from Cingular/AT&T just because Nextel was the Cup sponsor at first. Early termination fees saw to that. Didn't switch to Sprint either because of the customer service horror stories I read about.

The J said...

so what now, the nascar walmart cup series???? because walmart seems to be the only company doing good right now. im sure they would easily have enough money to get the naming rights.

Anonymous said...

so what now, the nascar walmart cup series???? because walmart seems to be the only company doing good right now. im sure they would easily have enough money to get the naming rights.
I"ve always wondered why they didn't sponsor a car....

Anonymous said...

If I were a CEO of a company paying billions to NASCAR, I would not allow a competitor to sponsor a car. NASCAR would have to be willing to take far less than Sprint paid out.

Dot said...

How does the contract work for Sprint & NASCAR? Did they pay up front? Pay some now and some later? As they go?

In the spirit of the Walmart comment, the 99 cent stores franchise wouldn't be bad for the Cup series sponsor. I haven't read any of them taking a stock nosedive.

Anonymous said...

Do people understand Marketing????
Walmart has the NASCAR fan...if they sponsor something it should be a Polo match or Pebble Beach car show, Those are the customers they need to increase sales!!??

Anonymous said...

They should have stuck with Winston. The cigarette companies stocks are some of the best performers in this downturn. Phil Morris and Altria are flush with cash.

The J said...

They should have stuck with Winston. The cigarette companies stocks are some of the best performers in this downturn. Phil Morris and Altria are flush with cash.

winston couldnt be in the sport anymore because in the late 90s they were stopped from doing any advertising. they couldnt do any at all. so it would be kinda pointless for them to stay

Bobby said...

As for those who defend Winston, cigarette advertising is one of the most restricted because of tobacco advertising laws, and you are seeing a gradual phase out of tobacco everywhere. When RJR pulled out of NASCAR, they were in the middle of merging their North American operations with that of British American Tobacco (BAT).

There are so many places where tobacco advertising is banned. Remember Kyle Busch was banned from a Truck race run alongside the CART 500 presented by Toyota at the Auto Club Speedway because the CART race had four different cigarette brands as sponsors on cars. Trevor Bayne (who raced in the TASS Saturday) was banned from a ProCup race in Milwaukee last season because of IRL tobacco sponsorship. It was losing the Winston sponsorship that allowed Bayne, J. Earnhardt, Logano, and other young teen drivers to be permitted to race in lower series. NASCAR was forced to add a minimum age of 18 because of Winston.

Cellco Partners (joint venture of Verizon and Vodafone) just used the Alltel acquisition to buy more space on the Penske IndyCars because of the NASCAR ban. Vodafone is a premier championship sponsor in world motorsport -- two major racing series in 2008 were won by Vodafone-sponsored cars -- V8 Supercar (Triple 8 Racing Ford) and Formula One (McLaren Mercedes). Vodafone hopes the success of those carries into NASCAR.

As for rivals not being allowed to advertise, this goes back to the 1970's when Viceroy (now part of Reynolds American) sponsored the Parnelli Jones team on the USAC Marlboro Championship Trail. The outcry over that was a big reason RJR imposed the ban on rival cigarette companies from advertising in their turf. Sprint and Nationwide are following in Winston's policy.

As for the legends, it's much easier to market a legend calling on a Sprint phone to a star of the present than to show a cigarette ad. When Nextel began the sponsorship five years ago, one of the first ads was Cale Yarborough and other NASCAR legends. I'd love to see Sprint return to those legends ads. Imagine a group of legends walking together in the garage and today's stars and fans communicating with them. One that would be great is to see the grandchildren of late NASCAR legends in ads communicating the great history of the sport, and sending pictures and information of their family racing history -- Byron, Rexford, Thomas, et al.

Should be fun to see what happens. But NASCAR probably is relieved not to be tied with tobacco as a series sponsor.