‘NASCAR Green’ portfolio expandsPublished February 20, 2012
Going green is good for NASCAR’s bottom line.
Three years after the sanctioning body decided to create a separate sponsorship portfolio for environmentally conscious companies, it has signed its second “NASCAR Green” sponsorship. Creative Recycling, a Florida-based company that specializes in stripping, repurposing and disposing of electronic equipment such as computers and cell phones, signed a multiyear deal with the sport to become an official “NASCAR Green” partner.
“When I think about NASCAR and I think about NASCAR Green and think about this ability to reach this huge audience, the super fans, the casual fans and the TV audience, what NASCAR is trying to do with this green platform, the value of trying to make people aware of the environment, is extremely strong,” said Jon Yob, founder, president and CEO of Creative Recycling Systems Inc. Andrew Campagnone of Sports Marketing Consultants advised Creative Recycling on the sponsorship.
The deal is NASCAR’s second major green sponsorship. It brought on American Ethanol, a lobby group that represents domestic ethanol interests, as a sponsor in 2011 in a six-year deal worth more than $2 million a year.
NASCAR executives hope to bring on more green sponsors in the coming years. They see opportunities with companies specializing in solar or wind energy, next-generation agriculture, and micro-grid management and energy consumption.
“Any technology or solution that impacts the amount of energy we use to put on the show are categories we can bring forward in this,” said Mike Lynch, NASCAR’s managing director of green innovation. “We spend a lot of time now and attention focusing on that.”
Lynch was hired in 2008 and assigned with making NASCAR more environmentally friendly both at the track and in the court of public opinion. He acknowledges that the idea of NASCAR, which hosts races that can burn upward of 6,000 gallons of fuel, being green is an oxymoron. He’s looked to overcome that through traditional environmental initiatives like recycling programs at the track and tree-planting efforts, but he also worked with NASCAR’s sales team to create a separate sponsorship portfolio for “green” partners.
By selling sponsorships to companies such as American Ethanol and Creative Recycling, NASCAR has turned “green” into a revenue stream, and aligned itself with companies that help raise awareness for environmentally friendly practices and give the sport a positive association that counters the public perception that it’s not environmentally conscious.