CHICAGO Feb 9 NASCAR and the rest of
motorsports are getting some good news as sponsorship spending
by North American companies is expected to rise 2.1 percent in
2010 after the segment's first decline in 25 years, a research
firm said on Tuesday.
Spending by companies based in North American is expected
to rise to $3.37 billion from $3.3 billion last year, according
to IEG, a unit of advertising giant WPP Plc (WPP.L) that tracks
such budgets. That spending fell 6 percent last year.
However, the expected 2010 increase still trails the
expected 3.4 percent boost for overall sponsorship spending and
2.8 percent increase for all sports properties, IEG said.
"The motorsports category has suffered more than many
others recently, as its high cost of entry in many cases fell
victim to increased scrutiny over corporate marketing
expenditures and questions about return on investment," said
William Chipps, IEG Sponsorship Report's senior editor.
Last year was rough for NASCAR, which has an estimated 75
million fans and is one of the most popular U.S. sports, as
lower corporate sponsorship spending forced many race teams to
cut jobs and some to merge to survive, while race tracks saw
Among the companies that dropped out of motorsports
sponsorships last year were Allstate Insurance, Brown-Forman
Corp's Jack Daniels and Beam Global Spirits & Wine Inc's Jim
Beam, according to IEG. Nevertheless
However, NASCAR CEO Brian France said last month that
things were stabilizing for his sport this season, which opens
on Feb. 14 with the Dayton 500 race -- dubbed the Super Bowl of
that sport by many analysts.
(Reporting by Ben Klayman; Editing by Bernard Orr)