In a recent announcement, NASCAR has announced a new entitlement sponsor: Monster Energy.
This sport just took a hairpin of a turn. Monster Energy is only the third company ever to act as the entitlement sponsor. So what does that mean? That the Sprint Cup Series is about to become the Monster Energy Cup Series. This is huge. A shift in such a major sponsor serves as one hell of a facelift. One that NASCAR has needed for an arguably long time.
There is something inherently chaotic and frenetic about barreling around an oval track at nearly 200MPH while sitting at a comfortable two inches from your opponent’s rear bumper. But the image of NASCAR under the Sprint logo never really managed to convey that. The packaging and demeanor lent itself more to the incredibly hot and thrilling activity of corporate boardroom discussions. Anyone who had been watching the sport for several years could tell you that isn’t the case – but the image didn’t essentially sell itself.
It looks as if the head honchos at NASCAR are aware of this and are looking to Monster for some expertise in targeting the youth. Their new direction could potentially reinvigorate a series that has struggled to retain and grow a viewer base over the last couple of years – but it also has the potential to blow up in their face.
Look at Monster’s branding on MotoCross. It’s certainly targeted at a younger demographic. It’s conveys an edgy image that’s more frenetic, rebellious, and emotional rather than the calm and collected decorum typically on display in NASCAR (aside from the good old rivalries of course). Will this be good for the sport? I’m not sure. We’re either going to see an influx of younger followers or an exodus of older ones. Whatever happens, I hope those calling the shots weighed their decisions carefully.