According to the Sports Business Journal, NASCAR sponsorship recognition was down in many categories from 2009.
SBJ, through Turnkey Intelligence, conducts surveys of fans of every sport each year about brand recognition and other sport specific sponsorship-related items.
General Motors was the only official sponsor of NASCAR to have an awareness increase in 2010, while Bank of America, Coca-Cola and others saw drops in recognition. (Believe it or not, there is no official fast food restaurant of NASCAR, and Subway saw an almost 10% increase in recognition in 2010, making it the most recognized NASCAR-related fast food enterprise)
However, speaking to the brand awareness and loyalty of NASCAR fans, respondents to the NASCAR survey were more likely to identify the official sponsors of NASCAR than the respondents in other sports.
Coors, the official beer of the sport, once again trailed Anheuser-Busch in the official beer of NASCAR category, and Powerade, the official sports drink, trailed Gatorade, Amp and Red Bull in that category.
The decline in recognition can at least be partially attributed to the drop in television ratings, something that we've talked numerous times about this season. But it may also have something to do with the amount of sponsors that have entered the sport in smaller roles over the past few years because of the cost of NASCAR sponsorships.
Only nine cars in 2010 had the same sponsor for the entire season -- Budweiser, FedEx, Miller Lite, UPS, Home Depot, Lowe's and NAPA, plus Furniture Row and Red Bull, which own the race teams that they sponsor -- and, as evidenced in the sports drink category, many competitors are embedded in the sport in different roles. Gatorade, the drink you see in victory lane, was tops among respondents because of the visibility in its capacity.