LAS VEGAS (AP) – On Friday night, your eyes will not play tricks on you when the truck crew at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway is all the same.
The clear blue հստակ yellow logo of Camping World may be on ten trucks as the company’s CEO, Marcus Lemonis, takes over the sponsorship of the Truck Series. Camping World has been NASCAR’s third-tier title sponsor since 2008, but over the past month, Lemonis has shown interest in some of the financial steam-powered teams.
Ahead of last season’s opening race, he announced a cash bonus fund that even rewards staff members on various seasonal signs, as well as an emergency fund for teams that have cash.
Grant Enfinger, the champion of last season’s four-race winner, seems to be the first driver to make an offer to Lemonis. At ThorSport Racing this year, his ride was cut in half as another driver had sponsorship money to buy races and Enfinger did not book a seat on Friday night.
Enfinger accepted Lemonis’ offer և Camping World sponsorship brought CR7 Motorsports to race in Las Vegas.
And then the flood gates opened.
Earlier this week, Lemonis posted an offer on Twitte r. He will pay $ 15,000 to any team that wraps his truck in the Camping World paint scheme. The end of the top 10 raised the result to $ 25,000, the top five cost $ 35,000, and the victory to $ 50,000.
Since then, there has been a large flow of transactions. It seems that everyone is mediating on Twitter, even Lemonis is not sure how many trucks will be packed in the Camping World schemes on Friday night. The entry list released earlier this week shows that at least seven of the 40 trucks do not have Las Vegas sponsorship.
“I am ashamed to say that we do not have a final calculation, there is some confusion now,” Lemonis told the Associated Press on Thursday morning about his sponsorship offer.
The offer was accepted by Sherldon Creed, the current champion of the Truck Series. At first he did not think that GMS Racing could complete the Camping World package for Las Vegas in time, he asked Lemonis if the offer was good for the races later this month. Finally, the deal is over for Las Vegas.
Creed, who was a five-time winner last season, was disappointed with the difficulty of getting sponsorship.
“It’s hard for everyone to start, if you’re in business, you want to spend money, you want to go straight to the Cup,” Creed said. “And the Cup (series) teams may not take the full amount now. “It makes it harder for us truck teams. We have to take less money than truck races really cost.”
Lemonis is aware of the financial difficulties faced by the Truck Series teams. He told all Daytona teams he promised more than $ 500,000 in cash prizes, including an electric pickup և Lordstown Electric (Class E) RV to this year’s champion.
He also approved the emergency fund for game-changing teams that were barely out of the way.
His motives are not exactly altruistic. At the beginning of his involvement with NASCAR, Lemonis learned how valuable advertising is to his brand.
“When we started our relationship with NASCAR, Camping World was small, but from the beginning it seemed bigger to the company than it really was,” said Lemonis. “It simply came to our notice then. It seemed that the negotiations at the table were bigger than they really were. ”
It became what Lemonis referred to as a “stylistic negotiation tool” as every dollar he spends on sponsorship is eventually amortized over a period of 12 months. Camping World now sponsors college football, Major League Baseball, and took over the NHRA in another Twitter deal late last year.
“I look at my ability to negotiate, my ability to be a bigger company, I look like a bigger company,” Lemonis told the AP after the deal with the NHRA. “I think the (sponsorship) money not only paid the dividend, but I got a good return on it because of the value I was able to save, or the deals I was able to make, or the doors I was able to open.”
After all, Camping World is paying much more attention to the $ 200,000 that Lemonis promised in Las Vegas than the company would have liked if it had been another race on Friday night.
Lemonis understands that the racing business model is flawed, but does not have the “table space” needed to push for change. If he had his way, the line of trucks would compete on the same day as the top rows of the cup, անհրաժեշտ one ticket needed for two events.
“You want there to be more worship to see the concert start,” he said. “If the trucks ran in front of the same audience on the same day, I think you would see more sponsors pouring into it. I think you will see combined sponsors. I think you will see that the teams are trying to understand how they distribute resources on the same day. ”
If Camping World’s contract with NASCAR was extended, Lemonis would bid. Meanwhile, teams and drivers are looking for every possible dollar.
Austin Hill begins his 100th career Friday night in Las Vegas, a milestone in his career, which began when his father’s welding company supported him as a child. The deal was struck by Hill’s father և United Rental’s help’s move to NASCAR’s national series, but father and son are always looking for funding.
He has not had to take Camping World money yet, but he still has unsold races.
“No matter what sponsor you have, you are still trying to find a little more money, a little more that can help your project,” said Hill. “Sport is tough, but we all love it, so you keep grinding it, making the most of it, trying to please the sponsors, keeping them in the sport.”
Additional AP car racing. Https://apnews.com/hub/auto-racing և https://twitter.com/AP_Sports