Q: What are the cheapest major league auto racing sponsorship programs and the most expensive? Peter L., Illinois.
A: Peter, the most expensive by far is Formula One, where over $250-million per car is rumored to be spent for the top teams like Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and Williams. These teams travel the world in search of the World Driving Championship, and costs in these “caviar and wine” divisions are in the outer limits.
The least expensive, in my opinion, is an NHRA Pro Stock, Top Fuel or Funny Car effort, where $3-to $5-million a year will get you pretty good corporate exposure for the 23 race series.
If you want to participate in the IZOD IndyCar Series, I would think $5.5-million per car will get you running with the leaders, but remember if you want to add corporate hospitality to the effort, add at least another million.
As for NASCAR Sprint Cup, the top teams are getting in the neighborhood of $18.5-to $22.5-million per car for the entire run for the championship. These figures include payroll, travel (huge expense), lodging, food and so on. With the higher cost NASCAR deals, the corporate hospitality is usually included.