Free Drivers

It’s been a fantastic start for the league, with 87 sponsors already offering deals to various drivers around the league.  It’s a good sign for both the league owners and drivers that there is so much interest, but there are warning signs for next season.  With every driver being “unproven,” sponsors seemed to base their decision more on paint scheme than expected performance.  As a fan, I’m grateful for that.  The cars look amazing, and the logos really stand out.  The fans are going to be happy.  The sponsors are going to be happy.  But what about the drivers?

 

In accordance with league bylaws, each sponsorship contract was signed as a one year deal with guaranteed payout.  Drivers have the option to renew the deal if they meet the requirements, but is that likely?  One common deal was $10,000 for a promise to finish Top 10 in points.  In fact, it may have been a little TOO common, as 16 different sponsors offered the deal.  Think on that a minute.  It is not possible for 16 drivers to be top 10, but it gets even worse.  Another 11 sponsors offered a deal to finish top 5 in points.  That’s 27 offers (the vast majority already accepted) to finish top 10.  But wait, there’s more!  Another 9 sponsors have a deal to win the championship.  Fortunately, no driver was foolish enough to fight those odds, but 2 drivers did jump at the 11 offers to finish with the most wins.  That’s 20 drivers who all only get paid for effectively finishing top 10.  Note that this number doesn’t include “Most Pole Positions” (another 2), or “Have 4 Top 5 Finishes,” which none have signed up for.

17 Comments

  1. From a sponsor point of view, it makes sense that you’d pay $10,000 for a top 10 finish when 16 others are doing the same thing. It could potentially mean free exposure, as there is a chance that they don’t meet the criteria to get paid.

  2. Unproven? UNPROVEN?!?

    I’ll have you know that Wooba Bally won a race this past season, AND finished 4th in the Diddler Cup standings! The disrespect I get here, I swear to Christ. F—!

  3. Nice analysis! I think it’s fine that there’ll be some tough situations in regards to sponsorships and that not everyone can get what they want – give people an opportunity to set their own goals, then let them battle it out!

  4. Considering that it’s a new racing series, I’m not surprised that most drivers have taken a safer option to begin with, especially on short tracks, where it can be difficult to overtake. I expect the 2nd season to have more people willing to take sponsorship risks.

  5. I think it’ll be interesting to see how the attainability of these shift with more drivers entering the league. I think the sponsorships will make the competition much more fun, especially for those who took some leaps of faith in their decision.

  6. I think as new players join, a lot more are going to have to settle for more mundane goals, like X top 10 finishes. Fortunately, though, sponsor payout seems minor compared to winnings. After all, top tier training is 250k.

  7. Sponsors are, generally, very self serving so they always firmly believe that their guy will get that top 10 spot, top 5 spot, etc. So, from the view of the sponsor, there isn’t much of an issue. They only need 1/10 or 1/5 of the spots and they believe their guy is the one to do it!

  8. I’ll be honest, I just picked STP because of its legendary status in auto racing and the fact that I had already picked a light blue car (although not quite Petty Blue).

    But yeah, hopefully I’ll finish top ten in points, too 🙂

  9. It’d be fun to see sponsors start to incentivize the kind of driving that brings fans to the stands and camp sites — $10k to crash out half the grid in a race? I know many a driver that just might take up that offer once they realize that too 10 finishing’s not likely in their near future.

  10. I’m not sure why 16 sponsors offering top 10 finish bonuses would be odd. Each sponsor would come up with contract bonuses on their own and not talk to others, they don’t care if other sponsors offer a similar bonus.

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