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.