Allstate Insurance has announced they will not be renewing their contract to sponsor the Brickyard 400 next year. I can't blame them, because ESPN never once mentioned the name Allstate in association with the Brickyard 400. As old school race fans, we love the fact that it was referred to as the Brickyard 400 and not the Allstate 400, but the sponsor of a race at least deserves some mention, as in "The Brickyard 400 presented by Allstate Insurance."
This is not the first time ESPN has neglected a race sponsor. They did the same thing with MBNA at Dover a couple of years ago. If the race sponsor does not buy advertising on ESPN, then it is the broadcaster's prerogative to ignore that sponsor. But, one would think that there would be some common courtesy involved.
In the article featured on Chicago Tribune.com, Allstate did not mention ESPN:
"The contract was up and we're always reviewing our properties and how they perform," Allstate spokesman Raleigh Floyd said. "We enjoyed working with them, and the fans are probably the most loyal in sports, but our other sponsorships were just performing a little better."
Now, if only "Allstate Insurance" had been mentioned in association with the race, that would have shown the sponsorship to be performing a little better.
Allstate's departure opens the door to other sponsorship opportunities. After seeing Jimmie Johnson, his crew, his wife Chandra, and Miss Sprint Cup Monica Polumbo kissing the bricks, I imagined them all standing up afterwards with their lips coated with tire rubber, oil, and bits of speedy-dri, and thought "This would make a great Orbit commercial."
Think about it--Orbit would be making a big mistake to pass up this opportunity. They don't have to call it the "Clean Up Your Dirty Mouth 400" or anything like that. "Orbit Presents the Brickyard 400" would be just fine.