Written by Mark Ligon
Monday, 04 March 2013 22:14
The April 13th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway will be retitled the “NRA 500” and serve as the first prime-time Saturday evening race of this season.
The NRA replaces Samsung Mobile, which had served as the title sponsor of this race since 2002. The announcement was made as well as the race logo unveiled during Texas Motor Speedway’s annual Media Day held in the Grand Ballroom of The Speedway Club on Monday.
This is not the NRA’s first involvement with NASCAR or Speedway Motorsports Inc., the company that owns Texas Motor Speedway.
“The NRA has been involved in the sport for several years and a partner of Speedway Motorsports, Inc. for many years in various aspects, and this race entitlement is just another extension of that business relationship,” TMS president Eddie Gossage said. “We look forward to another successful partnership with the NRA for our April race week of activities.”
Along with numerous donations to the Speedway Children’s Charities over the past decade the NRA’s most recent race sponsorship was just last season for the September 1st NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The title of that race was “NRA American Warrior 300”.
NRA Executive Vice President and CEO Wayne LaPierre was unable to attend the event in person, but did provide a video message for the Media Day audience.
“The NRA 500 is the latest announcement in the long history of a growing partnership between the NRA, Speedway Motorsports and the NASCAR community,” LaPierre said. “NRA members and NASCAR fans love their country and everything that is good and right about America. We salute our flag … volunteer in our churches and communities … cherish our families … and WE LOVE RACING! On April 13, we’ll all come together at Texas Motor Speedway.”
The NRA has been in the news several times over the past few months while the gun control debate has been at the forefront of many conversations, I don’t think announcement will bring any negativity to the sport or TMS. Some may question it, others will welcome it, and to several it’ll just be the spring race at TMS.
Swan Racing entered a car dedicated to raising money in support of Sandy Hook Elementary of Newtown, CT in the Sprint Cup season opening event the Daytona 500.
NASCAR does have the final approval and disapproval on race sponsorship but the tracks typically don’t consult with NASCAR when seeking sponsorship for the races. Since the announcement has been made that means that NASCAR has approved the NRA sponsorship.
In a sport that reaches so many people with so many different sponsorships and marketing strategies there are a few sponsorships that are not a fit for NASCAR and the marketing teams at the tracks know which organizations would not be good for their track or the sport.
Sponsorship money talks, but so do the fans, which is why the only news that should surround the NRA sponsoring this event is that they are a long time supporter of the sport that is finally able to sponsor a big time race!
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