Mars Inc. will depart NASCAR and its sponsorship of Joe Gibbs Racing after 2022, Sports Business Journal reports.
Mars has sponsored Kyle Busch‘s No. 18 entry in the NASCAR Cup Series and has been a partner of JGR since 2008.
In all, the company, which has largely utilized the sponsorship to promote its M&Ms brand, has been part of NASCAR since the 1990s.
“My appreciation for the entire Mars family is eternal,” Busch tweeted. “With 55 wins and two Cup titles together, we’ve built friendships that will last way past 2022. The Mars family has always accepted me for who I am and I’ll always be thankful for that. Here’s to many more trips to [victory lane] in ‘22!”
My appreciation for the entire Mars family is eternal. With 55 wins & 2 Cup titles together, we’ve built friendships that will last way past 2022. The Mars family has always accepted me for who I am and I’ll always be thankful for that. Here’s to many more trips to VL in ‘22! pic.twitter.com/GrWvU86E3V
— Kyle Busch (@KyleBusch) December 20, 2021
According to SBJ, JGR President Dave Alpern says the team is currently looking for a replacement for Mars to support Busch’s car alongside Interstate Batteries. Mars informed JGR of the departure this summer.
In 2021, Busch won two races and earned 14 top fives and 22 top 10s in the Cup Series en route to a ninth-place finish in the standings. M&Ms sponsored both of Busch’s 2021 victories.
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Rutherford is the managing editor of Frontstretch, a position he gained in 2015 after serving on the editing staff for two years. At his day job, he's a journalist covering music and rock charts at Billboard. He lives in New York City, but his heart is in Ohio -- you know, like that Hawthorne Heights song.
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It’s not surprising to see any sponsor leave NASCAR given the current issues, but I did not see this one coming. If you would have told me one top tier team is losing a major sponsor, M&Ms would not have been my guess.
I don’t think it is a good sign when another top team loses a sponsor, especially since the NA$CAR spin doctors are putting up such a rosy front.
Spin doctors are in overdrive. I think being forced to having to go to the higher horse power engine this late after assuring everything was just rosy is a huge tell. Mars is a huge surprise, but they see which direction the numbers are going. And these huge companies are smart enough to realize the clueless are in charge of the asylum.
Like to add that I don’t think fan loyaity to brands is what it was in the late 80’s early 90’s. I remember myself and others buying products just because they were involved in Na$car…i.e. Bulls Eye BBq…Purex and so on….no return valve.
I am thinking that Joe Gibbs is wanting to Spin Off a la Don Schumacher his Drivers into Owner-Operators, especially if Denny Hamlin can’t keep running on His Dale Earnhardt Thing, and Kyle Busch would be nudged into Owning and Operating his Own Cup Equipment.
You will never ever see Kyle Busch being nudged into owning and operating his own Cup equipment. Unless someone else is putting up EVERY DIME of the money and he is paid very well. He is not a stupid person.
Baby Busch started his own truck team and when he saw how much it was costing him he got Reverend Joe to take over.
I want to read MARS INC. explanation of why they are leaving a Championship Team?
Phil, put your best people on this. This news is 6 months old.
What is really surprising here is that it took Mars this long to pull the on Kyle Busch and his bad behavior as a representative of a product marketed to children. Mars has a strict code of conduct that employees must follow and as a de facto employee of Mars, Busch made a shambles of the code of conduct. Now if Joe Gibbs had the guts to send Kyle packing, it would a clean sweep.
I give Mars credit for sticking it out this long, given the PR nightmares its driver caused over the years.
If it was just over PR nightmares, they’d have been gone long ago. I’m pretty sure NASCAR sponsorship isn’t providing the ROI it used to for the marketing department, otherwise you’d see them leaving Busch and jumping to a more favorable (marketable) driver / team as opposed to leaving the sport altogether.