Apr 01, 2010 at 12:54 PM
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AFD Sponsorship Pranks

While we've seen some wacky sponsorship announcements throughout the year (unfortunately, many turned out to be true), this is the one day when you have to keep an especially keen eye out for shenanigans. We'll try to keep them straight by putting them all on this post, so check back. What do you think so far?


Carter-Shaw Motorsports Turns Sponsorship on its Lid

CONCORD, N.C. -- In an unprecedented move, Carter-Shaw Motorsports announced today that it will be offering potential sponsors a unique opportunity this season. For the first time in auto racing history, a race team will be offering sponsorship on the underside of its race cars.

“We know it’s unusual,” states co-owner Wes Carter, “but we believe the time has come for something different.”

Partner Alex Shaw added “When you think about how often our cars end up on their lids, sliding down the track or tumbling through the infield, it just makes sense.”

While it’s true that the economy is in the tank and sponsorships are getting increasingly difficult to find, one might wonder who would be interested in buying space on the underside of a car. That’s where Marketing Director Casey McGraw comes in.

“The idea came about one afternoon as my husband and I were watching the winter Olympics on television. We saw all these snowboarders on their flashy rides with the manufacturers boldly emblazoned on the bottom and it just clicked. There are hundreds of square inches of blank space on the bottoms of our cars. Why shouldn’t we give someone the chance to advertise on it?”

“We started looking at film from last season, as well as watching this year’s races, and timing the amount of exposure the underside of cars received. After Brad Keselowski’s crash at Atlanta was played repeatedly, we were convinced that our idea had merit.”

Who would be interested in such advertising? McGraw has a long list of possible sponsors, along with potential slogans. Among those:

- A mortgage company – “Upside down in your loan?”

- Restaurants that specialize in breakfast – “You’ll flip for our pancakes.”

- Underwear manufacturers – “Bottoms up!”

“The possibilities are limitless,” states McGraw. “These few are just the tip of the iceberg and we are open to just about anything someone might want to do.”

Adds Shaw: “The whole idea is to inject a bit of humor into an otherwise frightening and expensive experience, as well as recoup some of the money lost in a crash of this magnitude. When a car gets upside-down, it’s never good. We would like to find a way to turn it into a more positive and even profitable event.”

Carter-Shaw Motorsports hopes the idea will catch on and attract new investors to the young team. Those that think this might be money wasted on advertising that will never be seen need to know that an advertiser would be out no money at all unless the car gets on its lid.

“It’s a win-win situation for everyone,” states McGraw. “When all four wheels stay on the track, our sponsor gets a free ride and will be included in all of our marketing materials. Should the underside of the car be exposed at any time during qualifying or a race, the sponsor would then be obligated to pay the agreed amount.”

Sponsors would have the option of signing single-race agreements, or taking advantage of a complete season package discount.

The only member of the team not completely overjoyed about the idea is Carter-Shaw Motorsports’ driver, Nash Callaway.

“It seems like Wes and Alex are poking fun at me and I’m not sure I like it,” said Callaway. “I mean, yes, I got on my roof a few times last season, and I barrel-rolled more than once, but do they really think I spend so much time upside down that they can sell advertising on the bottom of my car? That’s kind of humiliating.”

When word of the idea leaked to members of various sanctioning bodies, it was met with laughter and also a bit of genuine concern. One series’ competition director worries that underfunded teams might be pressed to intentionally get upside-down at the expense of their sponsors. This could be potentially damaging to the sport and might derail the idea before it ever really gets off the ground.

Is this idea ridiculous and even dangerous or a thing of sheer genius? Only time will tell. If dozens of race teams are sporting underside sponsors in 2011, we will all know where it started and they will have Carter-Shaw Motorsports to thank for the increased sponsorship dollars. If the idea is a complete flop, it might still go down in the record books as one of the greatest April Fool’s Day jokes ever perpetrated on the motorsports community.

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D.J. Accepts $100,000 Offer To Legally Change His Name To TexasMotorSpeedway.com

FORT WORTH, Texas (March 31, 2010) – This time Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage truly is going to have to put his money where his mouth is in regard to his $100,000 challenge to Terry Dorsey, host of the Dorsey Gang morning show on Dallas/Fort Worth country music radio station 96.3 KSCS.

Dorsey announced this morning on the show that he will indeed accept Gossage’s six-figure offer to legally change his name to TexasMotorSpeedway.com for one year and get a permanent TexasMotorSpeedway.com tattoo.

Dorsey, a member of the Country Music Disc Jockey Hall of Fame and the 2009 Academy of Country Music's Disc Jockey of the Year, discussed the offer Tuesday evening with his wife – soon to be known as Mrs. TexasMotorSpeedway.com – and they agreed it was too lucrative to decline.

“It was my wife who convinced me to do it,” Dorsey said. “She said for the money Eddie was offering, it was something we couldn't pass up.”

“I would have never thought in a million years he would have taken the offer,” Dorsey Gang co-host Hawkeye said.

Dorsey was ready to expedite the process and was planning to head to a courthouse in Tarrant County to begin the name-change process following the 10 a.m. CT conclusion of Wednesday’s show.

“After looking at all the comments on Facebook and news stories, there apparently were a lot less expensive deals out there for me to pursue,” Gossage said. “Well, I may have pushed this one a bit too far, but it’s time to man up. The check is prepared as is my speech to (Speedway Motorsports, Inc. Chairman) Bruton Smith. Even if Bruton likes this promotion, he will probably tell me I could have got Dorsey for $50,000 or $75,000 in retrospect. Heck, I probably could have gotten Chad Johnson a.k.a Ocho Cinco for $100,000.”

Dorsey has to meet the obligations of Gossage’s challenge by Thursday, which includes him getting a permanent TexasMotorSpeedway.com tattoo in addition to the legal name change. Should Dorsey meet those two obligations by Thursday, Gossage is planning to officially present the check to him during pre-race festivities for the Samsung Mobile 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday, April 18, at Texas Motor Speedway.



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$200 Million Sponsorship Off the Boil in London