National Guard Motorsports Funding Survives the House

The National Guard Association of the United States (NGAUS) and National Guard officers across the country appreciate the trust and confidence members of Congress showed today in the ability of the Guard to recruit and retain the soldiers and airmen that fill its ranks. By striking down an amendment that would have ended professional sports sponsorships as a recruiting tool, lawmakers in the House have sided with the experts who know that affiliations with NASCAR and IndyCar have helped build the strongest and most ready force in history. 

We applaud Rep. Sanford Bishop, D-Ga.; Rep. Steven Palazzo, R-Miss.; Rep. C.W. Bill Young, R-Fla.; Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C.; Rep. Larry Kissell, D-N.C.; Rep. Sue Myrick, R-N.C.; and Rep. Bill Posey, R-Fla., for speaking on the House floor on behalf of the value and return on investment that our National Guard receives through these sponsorships.

The Kingston-McCollum amendment, from Representatives Jack Kingston (R-Ga.) and Betty McCollum (D-Minn.), would have diverted critical funding from Defense Department-wide marketing and advertising accounts to prevent the DOD from sponsoring pro-sports. NGAUS spoke out about this amendment, saying that it would have severely limited the National Guard’s ability to target and recruit soldiers and airmen with proven, effective marketing methods.

For the National Guard, pro-sports sponsorships provide a national platform to promote the National Guard’s image and aid in recruiting efforts. The recruiting and retention dollars spent through pro-sports sponsorships increase the National Guard’s prestige and visibility, as well as generate recruiting leads at events. Most importantly, sponsorships in motorsports specifically, through Indy Racing and NASCAR, illustrate a wise use of taxpayers’ dollars with a high return on investment.  In 2011, the return on investment for media exposure for NASCAR and IndyCar was over 368%, and saw an estimated 7 billion impressions, or time an ad or logo were viewed. This is an over $150 million return. 

“Recruiting for our all-volunteer force isn’t what it used to be. Only one in every four young people today is even eligible to join…Today, you have to know how smart, fit young people think, where they live and play, and go to them,” said NGAUS President, retired Maj. Gen. Gus L. Hargett Jr., in a recent press release.

Innovative techniques such as sports sponsorships help DoD do just that.

Tell us what you think! Do sports sponsorships aid in National Guard branding and recruiting efforts?

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