Congresswoman wants to end military's NASCAR sponsorships
The National Guard logo is displayed all over popular NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s car, cap and fire suit.
February 16th, 2011
08:24 AM ET

Congresswoman wants to end military's NASCAR sponsorships

A member of Congress wants to end the military's sponsorship of NASCAR race teams, saying it's a waste of taxpayers' money.

Rep. Betty McCollum, D-Minnesota, is offering an amendment to the 2011 House budget bill to ban the sponsorships, which her office said has cost the military $100 million over the past 10 years, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

The National Guard sponsors Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s team, the Army sponsors Ryan Newman, and the Air Force sponsors AJ Allmendinger, according to HamptonRoads.com.

"I would challenge the Pentagon to give me one example of someone today in Iraq or Afghanistan who saw the Go Army car going around the racetrack and that's why they joined the Army," Bill Harper, McCollum's chief of staff, told HamptonRoads.com. "It may be the reason why they go to Home Depot but not necessarily Afghanistan."

McCollum is in her sixth term and serves on the House Appropriations and Budget committees.

"NASCAR fans are the kind of people who fight America's wars, which would put into question the wisdom of banning the military's ability to reach out to them," NASCAR spokesman Randy Poston said in the HamptonRoads report.

More than 400 amendments to the budget bill have been offered. To become part of the law, they must survive subcommittee and committee votes as well as passage by the full House and Senate, followed by the president's signature.

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Filed under: Auto racing • Politics • Sports
soundoff (703 Responses)
  1. Malcom X the Third

    It is called advertisement stupid

    February 16, 2011 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
  2. mann

    Hey palinwit get a grip,you got me cracking up.But you are right.

    February 16, 2011 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
  3. CJ

    Hey, it's targeted advertising. Probably comes out of an advertising budget they already had before (is there perhaps less TV commercials or magazine ads?).

    February 16, 2011 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
  4. jibberjab

    I have no problem with the Armed Services advertising on the cars. They are allotted a specific advertising budget. Makes sense to sponsor a car since the car will be seen by more people and repeat exposure gets the biggest bang for the buck. There are tons of events sponsored by the branches. Let's move forward ..

    February 16, 2011 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Super Gus

    Linton Dawson, what are you? You spew your hatred which is protected by the First Amendment. Many brave soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines have died for you to have this right. Then you have the audacity to berate them for providing it. Can you say Hypocrite? Why don't you take your pinko-communnist body and go where you may be appreciated – Berkley.

    February 16, 2011 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Zeibodique

    For all you Obama Haters: It is not his fault. NASCAR/U.S. Military sponsorships have been going on long before President Obama even considered running for office. GET OVER IT ALREADY PEOPLE NOT EVERYTHING IS BECAUSE OF PRESIDENT OBAMA. You're too unhappy with your life to realize it and instead of placing blame where blame is due, you make him the easy target. Part of it rests on your shoulders and your living habits.

    February 16, 2011 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Robert

    This is a GREAT idea.

    February 16, 2011 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
  8. David

    Rep McCollum, I just want to throw this idea into the ring also since you are worried about waste in spending. Did you know that the U.S. Postal Service will have a 8 Billion dollar deficit this year? Also, did you know that USPS has sponsored the New York Yankees (3.7 million), NY Giants (1.9 million), and Lance Armstrongs cycling team. Now I don't beleive the Armed Forces should be sponsoring these things either but start looking at home first.

    February 16, 2011 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tom McCormick

      Specious logic. You should cut this wasteful spending in addition to cutting the wasteful spending at the USPS. You can't pick and choose your spending cuts based on whether or not it affects Dale Earnhardt, Jr.. I love racing and this will affect Panther Racing, one of my favorite teams in IndyCar. But they will have to sacrifice, too.

      We are all in this mess together.

      February 16, 2011 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
  9. fiftyseven

    sport sponsorship is part of an integrated marketing campaign. If the government plans to limit NASCAR sponsorship, will they also limit TV commercials and other marketing expenditures? Where is the line drawn? The fact is, the military uses the race sponsorship as a recruitment tool, and often have recruitment tents/events set up at the track. Rather than challenging "the Pentagon to give me one example of someone today in Iraq or Afghanistan who saw the Go Army car going around the racetrack and that's why they joined the Army", why not just look at the recruitment successes of the programs? According to the ARMY (back in 2005 anyways) their NASCAR recruitment efforts lead to about 40,000 potential recruits per year. Is it worth the cost? I don't know... but I would say that it is a slippery slope to start eliminating specific advertising/recruitment efforts just because it feels better for Americans to not have thier tax money going towards NASCAR sponsorships. If they weren't successful, they would have ended a long time ago. But, the fact is they have been going on for 10 years, so they must be doing something right.

    February 16, 2011 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Harry Pelosi

    CNN sux ass!

    February 16, 2011 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Hot Rod

    Spend the money on our brave service men and women who come home with life changing inquries. Not to sponser NASCAR. There is no shortage of recruites because the military is one of the few places where you can get a job so why would you need to advertise? And if your a patriot your going into service because you love America not cause a car has the name of a military sevice branch plastered on it. And yes most of congress and the senate is self serving only caring about themselves and their selfish interests.

    February 16, 2011 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Ralph in Orange Park, FL

    I think it is a matter of bang for the buck. Does putting Army logos on race cars at NASCAR races generate a significant number of enlistments, as opposed to putting Army recruiters in high schools, state employment offices, etc.? Given limited and declining budgets, they need to prioritize on what works.

    February 16, 2011 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
  13. GetRidoftheFluff

    Heck, while we're at it, why not ELIMINATE the corporate tax deduction for ALL sporting event tickets. No more tax breaks for buying that fancy suite at the basketball, football, or baseball venue! That might raise a little revenue!

    February 16, 2011 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
  14. geecee827

    If the Republicans can insist that our government not sponsor NPR any longer, then certainly the Democrats can insist that the government not sponsor NASCAR any longer. Really, which is more worthwhile, although I will admit a lot of braindead people do watch NASCAR. My understanding is that it is the largest spectator sport on t.v. Even more popular than that barbaric game of football. Imagine, watching cars going round and round and round a track hundreds of times. I mean, what could be more intellectually stimulating? Certainly not watching NPR!!!

    February 16, 2011 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • UConn

      The R in NPR stands for Radio. You don't watch it. You're thinking of PBS. unless NPR has some cable show I've never heard of.

      February 16, 2011 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Army & Navy Dad

    Why would we take away something that our troops and their families can root for? Why don't we take away that congresswoman's benefits and pay instead?

    February 16, 2011 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • A. Goodwin

      Why not spend that money on troops coming home from wars? Why not spend that money on upgrading VA facilities? Why not spend that money on providing better equipment and armor that might save lives? I could think of 100 things the military needs before spending money on the BS!

      February 16, 2011 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
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