CHARLOTTE — Nascar Racing, unhappy with the state of financial talks with sanctions agencies, took the highly unusual step Friday to communicate their concerns to the media.
Four team representatives — Jeff Gordon of Hendrick Motorsports, Dave Alpern of Joe Gibbs Racing, Steve Newmark of Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing and Curtis Polk of 23XI Racing — met with a small group of reporters at a hotel in downtown Charlotte, detailing their response to NASCAR’s request for a “fair” deal starting with the 2025 charter agreement.
“The interests are completely aligned,” said Polk, a longtime adviser to 23XI co-owner Michael Jordan. “As a result, the economic model of teams is broken. … Unless we make fundamental changes to the model, the sustainability of teams in this sport is not very long-term.”
Below, Jeff Gluck and Jordan Bianchi of The Athletic break down what’s happening, the problem at hand, and what the future means.
Why is the team unhappy?
For most NASCAR teams, sponsorship funds represent 60-80% of their total revenue. That means when a brand like Mars Inc. After deciding (mainly through its M&M brand) to pull out millions of dollars, JGR can no longer afford to re-sign a star driver like Kyle Busch unless it finds a new source of income.
This puts the team in a precarious position compared to other sports. RFK, which is owned by Fenway Sports Group, says sponsorships for Major League Baseball teams account for 8-12% of its total revenue; in the NHL, it’s 17-18%.Even though