Dewalt Explains NASCAR Exit
In a telephone press conference this afternoon, industrial power tools manufacturer DeWalt announced that it will not renew its agreement with Roush Fenway Racing to sponsor Matt Kenseth, driver of the #17 Ford Fusion for the 2010 NASCAR season.
DeWalt executives Les Ireland, president of the North American Power Tools and Accessories Group; Roger Young, vice president of industrial and media relations; and John Howland, director of brand marketing, fielded questions from media after stating that, despite a successful 12-year relationship and synergetic fit with Kenseth and the NASCAR platform, the company was moving toward a more user-stratified allocation of its marketing dollars.
Specifically, these executives said, DeWalt would be seeking to reallocate the funding toward “greater interface with the [DeWalt] end user on the job site” for increased distribution of its products.
They also stated that the company already had specific “exciting” yet unspecified strategies in place to replace the Kenseth sponsorship for promoting its brand to both residential and commercial building contractors.
During their relationship with Kenseth, the executives said that DeWalt measured the effectiveness of its sponsorship in many ways, including customer converts, excitement, and retail sales, noting that they thought the sponsorship “had been very effective.”
Also noted was the company’s delight for NASCAR as a platform and Kenseth as a spokesperson, for which they said a more appropriate icon could not have been found along the lines of an affable sport property or sport figure.
Nevertheless, the executives said, while DeWalt was pleased with the current sport sponsorship’s track record, the company had no immediate plans to be involved as a sponsor in NASCAR or any other sport, even in a less visible role.
When asked to disclose specific dollar figures or percentages of the DeWalt marketing budget related to the Kenseth sponsorship and its activation, they declined to answer.