News & Media

Army to end sponsorship with Stewart-Haas Racing

July 10, 2012, Mark Aumann,

The U.S. Army has decided not to renew its sponsorship with Stewart-Haas Racing for 2013, ending a decade of involvement in NASCAR's premier series.

According to a release issued Tuesday by the team, the decision was made because of "a reallocation of [the Army's] marketing budget that will not include a presence in NASCAR."

"The U.S. Army has worked with Stewart-Haas Racing in a mutually beneficial and highly successful relationship for the past four seasons," said John Myers, Army marketing director. "And they've performed superbly as our partner on and off the track. The same can be said of other members of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series family we have sponsored during the past 10 seasons.

"The sport, our drivers and the passionate NASCAR fans embraced the Army's participation and created a tremendous opportunity for Americans to learn more about the profession of the Army-strong soldier."

The issue of using recruitment money in sports sponsorships has been a hot-button topic in Congress for the past couple of years. In 2011, Rep. Betty McCollum of Minnesota introduced a measure to ban Department of Defense spending on NASCAR in the House budget, but it was defeated 281-148.

Earlier this year, the House Appropriations Committee adopted an amendment that would prohibit the military from sponsorship of sports events, a sum estimated at more than $135 million per year, with the majority going to NASCAR-related sponsorships.

At one time, the U.S. Air Force, Navy, Coast Guard and National Guard all had full-season sponsorships in one or more of NASCAR's three major national touring series.

Jerry Nadeau carried a U.S. Army paint scheme for the first time in the 2003 Daytona 500. Joe Nemechek and Mark Martin also drove Army-sponsored cars before it moved to Stewart-Haas Racing at the beginning of 2009. Since then, Ryan Newman's No. 39 Chevrolet has carried Army colors.

SHR officials say they are now "actively pursuing" another brand.

"The U.S. Army has been a great partner of Stewart-Haas Racing since the team's inception," said Brett Frood, team executive vice president. "It has been a mutually beneficial relationship, with the U.S. Army introducing training regimens that improved our pit crews while instilling the mental, physical and emotional strength of the U.S. Army soldier in all of us.

"We remain very proud of our representation of the U.S. Army and its brave soldiers who are 100 percent committed to our country. We will continue to activate on behalf of the U.S. Army for the rest of 2012, while also growing our other dynamic partnerships at Stewart-Haas Racing for the future."