When it comes to the world of NASCAR, there is no doubt that it is big business and with sponsorship underpinning the budgets of the teams that enter each year, their financial input is most necessary.
Because without that input, the likes of Hendrick Motorsport and Joe Gibbs Racing would struggle to find the budget to go racing and with sponsorship liveries being just as memorable as the drivers themselves, it is time to look at some of the best and worst brands in NASCAR history.
When you think of NASCAR sponsorship from yesteryear, you most likely think of STP and with their paint scheme being somewhat synonymous with the most successful driver in the championship’s history, such thoughts stand to reason.
Because STP and Richard Petty were a partnership that thrust NASCAR into the sponsorship era that we have found ourselves in for nearly 50 years and where other brands have followed, the motor oil company has led the way.
Although all elements of tobacco sponsorship have been long since removed from the paint jobs of NASCAR cars, there is no doubt that the industry played a huge part in the running of teams before the millennium.
Of those corporations that ploughed millions of dollars into the series, the Winston brand is likely to resonate with NASCAR supporters the most and with the red and white colours living long in the memory, tobacco’s legacy within the racing discipline will never be forgotten.
When it comes to brands that are heavily tied to continual success, DuPont is fortunate enough to find themselves near the front of the grid and with Jeff Gordon at the wheel, he would place the sponsor in the overall spotlight on four separate occasions.
That was the number of times in which Gordon won NASCAR Series Cup honours and if there was ever a wager to place on sportsbooks like Draftkings, they would usually be no safer than backing the now 50-year-old for race victory.
Another brand that can be fortunate enough to be partnered with a highly talented driver is that of Lowe’s and with Jimmie Johnson constantly contesting for race wins, the home improvement warehouse earned an incredible amount of exposure.
Especially when you consider that Johnson delivered five NASCAR Series Cups along the way and with a record such as that, the investment that Lowe’s initially made has generated an incredible amount of return.
The self-styled king of beers has also been a dominant force when it comes to NASCAR sponsorship and with its first partnership being forged back in 1979, it was a racetrack that first benefitted from a financial influx.
One that saw the Daytona International Speedway receive Budweiser sponsorship dollars in 1979 and with it moving to team sponsorship in 1983, it then played a part in Darrell Waltrip’s title success of 1985.
Boudreaux’s Butt Paste:
If you were to think of some of the worst sponsorship logos to ever adorn a NASCAR, then Boudreaux’s Butt Paste would be one of the picks and with the diaper rash company finding its way onto cars throughout the grid, it is a brand that will go down more in infamy than history.
Kim Kardashian Fragrance:
With Kim Kardashian being considered something of a business mogul, it may have come as some surprise when she entered the world of NASCAR and with her fragrance brand being placed across Mike Bliss’ 2010 Las Vegas entry, its 40th place finish says a lot about this doomed partnership.
Whether by accident or by design, there have been instances when female NASCAR drivers have been sponsored by female-orientated products and one example of this, was when Tammy Jo Kirk collected sponsorship from the lingerie brand Lovable.
With the Lovable logo blazed on Kirk’s truck for 15 Camping World Truck Series races, it was one of the more alluring sponsorship deals in NASCAR history. Although, due to a lack of overall success, it was only a short-term business arrangement.
Memorable for all the wrong reasons, NASCAR would first see Viagra branded sponsorship in 2000 and although it certainly generated focus on the cars that took the logo, it was more from a point of derision. To the point where creators Pfizer would pull the plug on their partnership in 2005.