If you needed more proof that the recession is cutting deep into sports sponsorship, here’s your sign: GM, the struggling car maker that needs any good media it can get, appears likely to end a decades long sponsorship of NASCAR’s greatest race, the Daytona 500. Yup, a car maker may stop sponsoring a car race. Pretty dismal.
(That’s not Jimmie Johnson en fuego … it’s GM rushing from Daytona.)
According to the DETROIT NEWS, the carmaker that has been the official car and truck provider of Daytona Speedway since the early 1970s is in talks about a new sponsorship deal to replace the current agreement that ends Dec. 31st. Yet there isn’t significant optimism about signing a new deal because of cash-strapped GM’s need to adhere to strict regulations in order to qualify for the federal funding they’ve been lobbying for over the past month as part of a financial bailout.
“We don’t comment about our business discussions,” GM spokeswoman Jan Thomas said.
If you thought that sounded ominous, listen to the quote from Daytona speedway spokesman Andrew Booth: “I know we’ve had some talks with them but right now, we are continuing to explore opportunities,” he said. “We don’t comment on our prospects.”