The business of NASCAR

Updated: November 30, 2005, 6:24 PM ET
On Tuesday, I attended the first day of the excellent Motorsports Marketing Forum put on by Street & Smith's SportsBusiness Journal. Based on some conversations I've had with sports-business insiders about gratuitous sponsorship mentions in NASCAR, I was motivated to ask NASCAR agent Cary Agajanian -- who manages Tony Stewart, Kasey Kahne, Matt Kenseth and Jamie McMurray -- whether his drivers ever turn down deals because they don't believe in the product. I led into the question by referencing the fact that Tony Stewart has a deal with McDonald's, and I asked what would happen if he really loves Burger King.

"McDonald's was relevant to Tony because he flipped burgers at a McDonald's," Agajanian said. "But if they brought it to him and he liked Burger King, it could have been an issue. Sometimes you have an issue as to the product itself -- it could be alcohol or tobacco and you may have a driver that did not want to drive for a sponsor that was alcohol-related. But it's rare to have an issue because the money talks for the drivers, and the drivers understand that that's what makes the teams run -- the sponsorships in dollars."