NASCAR and Coca-Cola enhance sponsorship measurement

Geoffrey Precourt

The Coca-Cola Co., through a partnership with NASCAR, is getting a more detailed insight into the return on its sponsorship investment than could have been realized just a few years ago.

In the past, the Coca-Cola Racing Family – the formal unit inside the soft drinks firm that focuses on NASCAR programs – typically used the sport as a means to get its logo in front of an audience that had already demonstrated an affinity with its brand. In 2004, for instance, the images in television spots tapped this enthusiasm for racing, but also relied on deep swallows from the iconic Coke bottle.

But according to Sean Doherty, NASCAR's director/digital and social media engagement, two shifts had compelled major marketers – including Coca-Cola – to reconsider their sponsorship priorities. On the downside, he told an American Marketing Association (AMA) webcast in late January 2014, the economic chaos that took hold in 2008/09 meant many brands faced "revenue pressures impacting sponsor activation."