Tags: National Guard | NASCAR | sponsorship | recruits

National Guard: No Idea if NASCAR Spending Worked

Friday, 09 May 2014 01:57 PM

The Army National Guard cannot say whether spending tens of millions annually to display its brand at NASCAR races resulted in a single new recruit because the program was never audited, the Guard's acting chief told a Senate panel on Thursday, Stars & Stripes reported.

What numbers there are on recruiting goals and pricey sports sponsorships were compiled by congressional staff — and they are not encouraging, incredulous senators told Maj. Gen. Judd Lyons, who more or less agreed.

"Trying to tie that awareness directly down to an individual's decision to join the National Guard is elusive," Lyons said, according to Stars & Stripes.

Sens. Claire McCaskill and Ron Johnson called the hearings this week to discuss their own analysis — which found, as one example, that the $26.5 million the Guard paid NASCAR in 2012 to slap the service’s brand on cars, drivers and tracks netted exactly zero recruits.

"The data is very clear — you are not getting recruits off NASCAR," McCaskill told Lyons.

Interest in stock-car racing appears to be a poor predictor of willingness to serve one’s country. But long after other branches of the U.S. armed forces figured this out, and stopped paying for access to NASCAR fans, the Army National Guard kept the program going without asking whether it worked, according to Stars & Stripes.

"It became apparent to me that management controls and oversight were not where they needed to be," Lyons told the Subcommittee on Financial and Contracting Oversight.

From 2011 to 2013, the Guard spent $88 million on its NASCAR-based recruiting efforts, and another $38 million on IndyCar racing. Last year, the campaign netted about 8,000 of the 1 million leads the Guard needs to meet its goal of 50,000 recruits each year.

Figures were not yet available for many of those 8,000 race fans went on to apply, qualify and ultimately enlist in the Guard.

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The Army National Guard cannot say whether spending tens of millions annually to display its brand at NASCAR races resulted in even a single new recruit because the program was never audited, the Guard's acting chief told a Senate panel on Thursday.
National Guard, NASCAR, sponsorship, recruits
331
2014-57-09
Friday, 09 May 2014 01:57 PM
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