The entire financial model of Nascar has changed in the past decade, especially when it comes to sponsorships. There was a time when many of the biggest companies in America didn’t hesitate to write a check just to see their brand on the side of a Nascar racecar.
However, unlike the days when Nascar was at its pinnacle of popularity, even those sponsors aren’t willing to write a check simply to see their name on the side of a car. Today, many of the big teams rely on a patchwork of associate deals cobbled together to pay the bills for a single season. Getting and keeping a sponsor is harder than ever. However, one thing hasn’t changed, and that’s what attracts and keeps sponsors.
“Performance on the racetrack is really the bread and butter of what we do and no matter if you have a funny personality or you have a famous last name it doesn’t matter,” driver Kevin Harvick said recently. “In the end, Danica Patrick is probably the best example that I can think of that, is just the fact of having the results on the racetrack. I think every week we’ve put a lot of pressure on ourselves to figure out why we didn’t run like we did or why we ran like we did in order to try to continue that trend forward.”
He added: “Look, in the end it’s the same in every sport. You have to be successful at what you’re doing. “
The 2014 Nascar Cup champion is currently the top seed in NASCAR’s Playoffs driving for Stewart-Haas Racing. He started his Cup career at Richard Childress in 2001 being thrust into the Cup ride of Dale Earnhardt, Sr. after the legendary driver was killed on a last lap crash in the 2001 Daytona 500. Harvick rode out the Great Recession that started in 2007 with RCR.
“Getting caught up in the rest of it is good in the down times,” he said. “And I think for me I learned that at RCR and however you choose that in those down years is sometimes we ran well in the Xfinity car and that kept us relevant to keep racing on the Cup side.
“Sometimes you caused headlines in order to keep yourself in the mix and move yourself forward, but fortunately now it’s really just about the results and having all that side chatter kind of put to bed takes a lot of things away from the equation. Just make it simpler. We can concentrate on trying to be good on the racetrack and in the end that comes with a team and people around you that