Has anyone noticed, that, since the 2020 season, for the first time in NASCAR history, The Cup Series does not have a singular series sponsor? I ask this question, because I just did, and I apologize for being so unobservant.
A little history on Cup Series sponsors—–
In 1949, The series was born. It was named the ‘Strictly Stock Series’ (Imagine that!) in its opening season of competition. The series ran eight races.
From 1950 to 1971 the Series was called The Grand National Series.
From 1971 to 2003 the Series was called The Nascar Winton Cup Series (Best time in NASCAR history, in my opinion). But at this time is when NASCAR realized that they could sell the sponsorship for the series. For 33 years, it is reported that RJR paid between $15 million and $40 million per year, to sponsor the Cup Series. After Billions in lawsuits, and not being allowed to promote their product, (What a sponsor pays for), RJR cut ties, with no regrets from NASCAR, as we all know.
From 2003 to 2007 The Series was called The Nascar Nextel Cup Series. In 2006, Nextel merged with Sprint and the Series became The Sprint Cup Series in 2008, and remained the Title Sponsor until 2016. It is reported that Nextel/Sprint paid between $50 million and $70 million per year to sponsor the series.
From 2017 to 2020 The Series became The Monster Energy Cup Series. BUT! Check this out! If we remember, this deal was a last-minute deal, struck sometime in December of 2016, and for, get this, A poultry $20 million per year. In this time frame, Nascar experienced the biggest decline in viewership of the series to date. This is when tracks started tearing out stands, instead of building more.
Starting with the 2020 season, to date, NASCAR has 4 Sponsors, (Not Title Sponsors). Busch Beer, Coca Cola, Geico, and Xfinity. And I can’t find anywhere what the cost of this sponsorship is. (Must be a secret) My guess is that it took all 4 put together to come close to the $20 million that Monster paid, but I honestly don’t know.
I bring all of this up (this is just my opinion!) because I have had a sense over the last few years, that the reason for the viewership and attendance decline at the track (and now sponsorship dollars) has to do with the the fact that Nascar started bowing to the P.C. crowd. They forgot about their roots. They ignored those of us that were loyal, diehard fans. They started to ban things that were offensive to a fraction of the population, (not acknowledging factual history) however loud, but still, a fraction of the fanbase (term used loosely). They offended folks such as myself, while trying to please people that, in my opinion, are what I call “Drive By Bomb Throwers”. Folks looking for their 15 minutes of fame and then move on to the next offender of their feelings.
Granted, The Daytona 500 is sold out , again, but what will we see as the season progresses. The same ratings/attendance decline as the last couple of seasons? Time will tell.
In my opinion, if Nascar wants to flourish again, then return to the folks that put them there. Stop telling us what is wrong and right. Stop bowing to the Main Stream Media. We’ll fight our own battles. We are actually pretty smart. Stop trying to “mine” new fans. Let them come to us. Take care of your own. When people see how happy we are being ourselves, others will follow. Spend a race weekend on the infield at Michigan, Daytona or Talladega, you’ll get it. We will explain our views and logic, and maybe some will learn some true history, not revisionist type stuff.