Sports sponsorships have become an increasingly large investment for many organizations. IEG (2018) has forecast that in 2018, total global sponsorship spending would be approximately $65.8 billion, with US sponsors contributing $24.28 billion. Close to 70%, or almost $46 billion, of total sponsorship spending will be directed towards the sponsoring of sports events, leagues, teams and individual sports personalities. This paper is a exploratory examination of sponsorships in INDYCAR racing based on participant observation over nine years of viewing INDYCAR races live and on television. Four specific sponsorship examples will be discussed to highlight sponsors’ motivations for sponsorship and how they activate the sponsorships to achieve marketing goals with both consumer and business markets. In addition, a potential sponsorship objective overlooked in previous literature will be examined, that of using the sponsorship to conduct R&D to improve consumer and business products and to reach niche markets.
Bruneau, Carol L., "A Preliminary Examination of Sponsorship Motivations and Leveraging in Motor Sports" (2020). Association of Marketing Theory and Practice Proceedings 2020. 17.