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King of Beers Making Departure from NASCAR?

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What would the NASCAR landscape look like without one of its biggest icons, Budweiser? Well, we may find out as soon as 2010. With the Belgium company InBev now purchasing Anheuser-Busch for a whopping $52 billion, this leaves questions to how long Bud will be synonymous with NASCAR.

We have already seen Anhesuser-Busch quit sponsoring the Busch Series, now Nationwide Series this past year, so we have to wonder if there is going to be more and more cut-backs. The most important reason for asking this question is that InBev is notorious for cutting costs and reducing advertising dollars. This going to affect what is arguably known as the second best marketing department and brand in America only second to Coca-Cola.

ESPN’s Marty Smith reported yesterday that he has spoken with the VP of Sports Marketing of InBev and says that they are staying put. They say that they understand the importance of sports marketing in North America and that they have already committed to sponsoring Kasey Kahne in the 2009 season. To emphasize this even more, Smith said that they had also committed to being the primary sponsor for Kasey Kahne’s World of Outlaws team for 2009 as well. Apparently InBev has also signed on for a multi-year deal to continue the Bud-shootout in Daytona every February to kick on Speed Week before the Daytona 500.

It will be interesting to see how this all develops. Does InBev truly understand how important the Bud brand is to NASCAR and its fans? Only time will tell.

This change also marks another significant point, that yet another foreign entity is now in NASCAR. Toyota make its entry last year, now Bud, and Miller Lite, which is owned by Canadian company Molson’s. This trend is getting more and more prevelant as time goes on. What’s next for NASCAR? NASCAR Europe? They already have moved to Mexico and Canada, let’s see what ripple effects some of these new changes will bring.

InBev, if you pull Budweiser from NASCAR, I believe you will lose a huge support base from North America. NASCAR fans feel that they own a part of both NASCAR and Budweiser due to their loyalty and support over the years. During this acquisition, don’t destroy what made Anheuser-Busch great. Great marketing and advertising.

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About Christopher Smith

A long time fan of NASCAR, he attended his first race as a kid in 1979 at Charlotte Motor Speedway for the World 600. Christopher watched Darrell Waltrip drive his way to victory and from that day forward hes been hooked. As president of RubbingsRacing.com, Christopher launched the site in 2000 and in the past decade, it has grown into a NASCAR-accredited web site hosting multiple podcasts, dedicated writers and race coverage at the majority of NASCAR-sanctioned events. Christopher is an official member of the National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA).

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2 Comments

  1. DJ

    July 18, 2008 at 7:45 pm

    I blame the InBev buyout on Dale Jr. myself because obviously Kasey Kahne ain’t bringing in the marketing bucks like Jr. did when Budweiser sponsored him. Kahne doesn’t strike me as a “manly man” drinking beer, especially when he’s also doing double duty as being the cute ladies guy for Nationwide Insurance prancing and dancing all over the place!

    NASCAR and ballet don’t mix. Dig up one of my way back articles on that one.

  2. ampguard88

    July 27, 2008 at 12:48 pm

    It would be a shame for budweiser to bail out of the sport they’re also not gonna be “The true American Beer” anymore. I feel that Khane don’t bring the attention to they’re product like my boy Dale Jr. did. It sucks for Khane, because with the economy in such strains now a days sponsorship isn’t real easy to come by. I knew it wouldnt be the same without Dale Jr. on thier side.

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