Nascar Joins Other Organisations Looking to Keep Military Sponsorship

By Community | July 17, 2012

NASCAR is looking to maintain it ties to the military joining four other professional sports leagues looking to keep their military sponsorship.

NASCAR.com reports the sanctioning body joined the NFL, NBA, Major League Baseball and the IndyCar Series in making the push. On Monday, the organizations sent a letter to House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, to express “continued opposition” to the Kingston-McCollum amendment.

The amendment, which was added to a defense appropriations bill, would prohibit the military from using funds toward sports sponsorships as a recruiting tool.

“Sports marketing has long been an important element in the U.S. Armed Forces’ efforts to reach young adults and active duty personnel regarding the military’s mission and objectives that serve our country,” the letter reads, according to NASCAR.com.

“Today, while most Americans view military service as admirable, military recruiting is more challenging than ever as young adults are more difficult to reach through traditional media and local channels. Unfortunately, it is in this environment that the military’s discretion to use sports marketing has come under attack in Congress.”

The National Guard currently sponsors the Sprint Cup car of Dale Earnhardt Jr. The Air Force is an associate sponsor of Aric Almirola’s car and the Army is a primary sponsor for Ryan Newman’s car. The Army recently announced it is ending a decade-long relationship with NASCAR.

McCollum’s website, in a May 17 press release, states that the Department of Defense “is spending more than $80 million this year to sponsor NASCAR racing teams, Indy racing, professional bass fishing, pro wrestling and ultimate fighting.” The press release also states that over the past five seasons, the National Guard spent $136 million on Earnhardt’s team alone.

“At a time when Congress is increasing defense spending by cutting ‘Meals on Wheels’ for vulnerable seniors and nutrition programs for hungry children, it’s time to eliminate wasteful Pentagon spending on NASCAR, fishing and ultimate fighting sponsorships that have nothing to do with our national security,” McCollum said in the press release.

“If the private sector wants to demonstrate their patriotism by sponsoring military racing teams, I say fantastic! But for taxpayers to pay for racing and bass fishing teams is a ridiculous waste of money.”