The U.S. Army is pulling out of NASCAR because of threats from Congress to make it law that the military cannot sponsor sporting events.
From ESPN: The U.S. Army will not return to Stewart-Haas Racing next season,
citing a reallocation of its marketing budget that does not include a
presence in NASCAR.
SHR said Tuesday it is pursuing a new sponsor.
U.S. Army has been a great partner of Stewart-Haas Racing since the
team's inception," said Brett Frood, executive vice president of SHR.
"It has been a mutually beneficial relationship, with the U.S. Army
introducing training regimens that improved our pit crews while
instilling the mental, physical and emotional strength of the U.S. Army....
The decision to leave NASCAR comes as Rep. Betty McCollum of
Minnesota and Rep. Jackson Kingston of Georgia are pushing an amendment
that would prohibit military sponsorship of sports.
McCollum lost a
House vote a year ago to end military sponsorships of NASCAR,
professional wrestling and fishing, but is trying again to have the
approximately $80 million in sponsorship cut from the defense budget. http://espn.go.com/racing/story/_/id/8146859/us-army-pulling-nascar-end-season-not-return-stewart-hass-racing
I think this is money well spent because NASCAR and other sports give a lot of publicity to the military. Each week during the NASCAR season, the Army brings in trailers used to help in recruiting and to promote goodwill with the public.
In addition, Ryan Newman, the driver of the Army car and Dale Earnhardt Jr. who drives the Army National Guard, makes appearances on behalf of the Army and National Guard and they also have military members in their pits, get to meet the drivers and crew and gives away free tickets to the military in which the military members are grateful. Now, all that is in jeopardy.
In drag racing, the Army sponsors Tony Schumacher in the Top Fuel dragsters. They say this about sponsoring Schumacher: Since the 2000 U.S. Nationals, the U.S. Army colors have adorned the Top
Fuel dragster of Tony “The Sarge” Schumacher. A seven-time world
champion, Schumacher holds numerous NHRA records including the national
elapsed-time record and national speed record for both the quarter-mile
and 1,000-foot distance.
In 2012, the Army Racing family will again be comprised of Tony
Schumacher and Antron Brown with his Matco Tools dragster. Together,
they are focused on being the best in the Top Fuel Class and proudly
race in honor of the more than one million Army Strong Soldiers around
This a case where the Congress is micromanaging the military. Obviously, the military thinks there is a benefit of sponsoring otherwise, they would not be sponsoring the cars.
Should the military be sponsoring sporting events while they are laying off service members or do you think the military should stop sponsoring sporting events. Please take the poll on the left to show us what you think- thanks