DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Since the moment stock cars first raced on the shores of Daytona Beach, sponsorship has played a role in NASCAR. Today, the world’s most successful and innovative corporations choose NASCAR to help drive their businesses. The results of an analysis released today shows that more than one-in-four FORTUNE 500 companies use NASCAR as part of their marketing mix – a number that has steadily increased for three consecutive years.
The number of FORTUNE 500 companies invested in the sport increased 7 percent year-over-year. Nearly one-in-two FORTUNE 100 companies now invest in NASCAR, also an increase over 2014. The 130 companies involved in the sport mark a 20 percent increase since 2008, before significant changes to the economy as well as the media and marketing landscape.
On the heels of a recently announced Official Partnership with Microsoft — and several other technology brands entering the sport this year and last — the number of FORTUNE 500 tech companies invested in NASCAR has increased by 66 percent since 2013.
“We are gratified that NASCAR continues to be a place where best-in-class corporations choose to drive brand awareness, preference and purchase behavior. Our fans are fiercely loyal to our sport and the FORTUNE 500 brands that are an integral part of NASCAR,” said Brent Dewar, NASCAR Chief Operating Officer. “We collaborate with partners across the industry each and every day to grow the sport and advance sponsors’ objectives.”
Brand exposure in NASCAR is especially valuable given the loyalty of its fans. Repucom’s SponsorLink tracker shows seven out of 10 NASCAR fans are loyal to a brand when it sponsors their sport, higher than all other major sports properties.
To be eligible for the FORTUNE 500, a company must be based in the U.S. and be publicly traded. Though many more FORTUNE 500 companies advertise on NASCAR-related television programming, only those that are partners or licensees with the sanctioning body, teams and / or tracks were counted in the analysis.
Although being a FORTUNE 500 company is the gold standard of success for publicly-traded companies in the United States, there are several global corporations currently involved in NASCAR that were not included in the analysis because they do not meet FORTUNE’s criteria. A number of those not qualifying, but involved significantly in NASCAR, include Ingersoll Rand, MillerCoors, Mars, McLaren and Toyota.