Kyle Busch finds NASCAR future on shaky ground after M&M’s: Anton Vincent, the president of Mars Wrigley, the parent company of M&M’s, spoke on the company’s evolution, becoming “customer oriented,” and the necessity to focus on “consumer interest and other passion areas.”
On Forbes this year, Vincent said, “Our sports marketing strategy has shifted a little bit.” “We have a very wide customer base.”
You’re on the same page? Okay, so I’ll let you know how it goes: The spectacular NASCAR career of Kyle Busch is a pause.
“You never expect being in this scenario,” Busch said in a phone conversation on Tuesday.
After 15 years, M&M’s will no longer be the major sponsor of Busch’s Cup Series vehicles. In NASCAR, a relationship lasting this long is extremely rare, although breakups do occur.
Next year and beyond, there is little doubt that Kyle Busch will be racing in a high-quality vehicle. Even if it is Joe Gibbs’ familiar No. 18 Toyota, it may not be Busch’s choice – he likes to stay in that spot, and Gibbs wants to keep him.
If this were to happen in any other popular sports league, it would be enough to seal the deal. Kyle and Joe would continue to travel together.
Big-league car racing, on the other hand, is a very different beast. And this particular high-profile development, which reminds everyone how reliant elite teams are on corporate relationships, can perhaps make everyone realize there needs to be a better approach.
The loss of a sponsor does not necessitate a team’s loss of elite players in other sports, according to Busch. It is clear that the business model might use some improvement. And I’m aware that a few new team owners have entered our sport recently and are actively working to improve the current model.
In order to find a substitute sponsor that invests $15 to $25 million in our sport in a year, “it’s obviously difficult to find that unicorn-style of replacement sponsor.”
In 2001, NASCAR’s first network TV deal kicked in, and the sport’s commercial model began to change as a result. A variety of networks and cable corporations had previously hammered out separate deals for specific tracks. Wall-to-wall deals have often had two networks sharing the season for the past 21 years – now, Fox and NBC.
The 10-year contract, which begins in 2015 and ends in 2024, is said to be worth $8.2 billion. It’s a mystery to me.
All I know is that the front-end division has been the same since the beginning: NASCAR gets 10%, the 36 chartered race teams get 25% (via unknown race prizes), and the various speedways get the remaining65% (NASCAR, by the way, owns 11 tracks that are hosts to 18 races on the current 36-race schedule).
In recent months, there has been speculation that that split will change when the new TV contract kicks in in 2025.
“I don’t know how far it goes,” Busch stated earlier this week.
Some new owners have joined the garages since the last TV agreement was negotiated, and some of them have experience in other sports and bring a variety of perspectives and ideas. The Race Team Alliance, established in 2014, has also risen in strength over the past few years. However, there will be some elements that the teams cannot control.
From the outside, it appears strange. Every time a new NASCAR network contract is signed, the financial amounts increase significantly. The scope of media coverage has grown, as have the formats it takes. However, the largest corporate team sponsors have pulled out in the more than two decades since the initial network agreement was negotiated and subsequently implemented.
Insiders point out that the sports-entertainment industry is expanding and that CEOs and CMOs now have a wide range of options to choose from, which makes giving up that exposure logical.
“The landscape of NASCAR has been horrible,” Busch remarked. “The ’90s were a golden age for them. Is NASCAR not cool enough? Is your brand too little to be in NASCAR? Our sport had sponsors who benefited financially from their presence. Being in NASCAR was good for their bottom line.
“The CEO or the CMO wanted to make a change and no longer wanted to do it, and they’re gone. The Targets, Dollar Generals, UPS, Lowe’s, Home Depots, you name it… What happened? “They were here and they were making money, but now they’re gone,”
As a result, Mars and its M&M’s brand are likewise pointing toward the exit. A top-tier racing team and a driver, Kyle Busch, who has won 60 races in his career and two titles in the NASCAR Cup Series and is still at the top of his game at 37, are left scrambling.
A structural remedy is urgently required, but it is not so simple. Salary caps are used in different sports; some are more restrictive than others. For example, the Miami Dolphins sell tens of thousands of tickets and high-end suite packages at home games in addition to their portion of the NFL’s TV money, merchandising sales, and various sponsorships.
“Cubic dollars” has long been used as a synonym for “horsepower” in the context of money.
They have the ability to boost the teams’ share of the television revenue. Pay a team enough to operate a season with enough talent in the cockpit and race shop to run fast. Racers, on the other hand, don’t just want fast; they want faster, and they’ll fight tooth and nail to get more money to help them achieve that goal.
In order to bring some sanity and balance to the situation, they would have to implement a spending limit.
Read More: All NASCAR Cup Series Drivers 2022