Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Army asked to end sponsorship of NASCAR

UPDATE: The bill referred to below has been voted down.

The military has had a ten year sponsor relationship with NASCAR. Right now, the Army is the only one that spends money as a sponsor. A total of $7 million a year.

In this day of budget cuts and deficits, anything like this will get scrutiny. That $7 million is taxpayer money. It's also part of the Army's budget.

Rep. Betty McCollum, D-Minn., wants to pull the plug on this venture. She and other Democrats wish to defund any military sponsorship of motorsports. The Army spent about $5 million more in 2009 than they do now on NASCAR. They also spent $5 million on drag racing sponsorships.

But look carefully at this. This is money that was budgeted for advertising. If it's still in the budget, it will be spent on various other ads. Like in magazines and television shows, like sports. Is it okay for the Pentagon to fund a television show? Or a football broadcast? There's not much difference. All that's different, is deciding which one is more effective advertising.

NASCAR seems like a good fit for the Army. The area of the country it fits with is probably more congenial with military service. So, why not go where more potential young men (and woman) are?

Let's not forget being a goodwill ambassador as well. Showing up to family events and seeing an Army sponsorship certainly fits well. Remember, this is advertising money.

It seems as if people living in certain parts of the country are willing to keep the military out. Many universities have banned ROTC programs. Okay, let's trade. No NASCAR sponsorship in return all colleges and universities get ROTC programs.

Military service is a just and decent occupation with the ultimate service. Why should we not be encouraging people to join our military? Why should our military not be included in events that seem a good fit?

Remember, if the $7 million is in the ad budget, it will get spent sponsoring something elsewhere. Nothing wrong with NASCAR.

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