NASCAR WINS CROWN FROM AD EXECS FOR MARKETING EFFORTS: JOURNAL'S SURVEY GETS REACTION ON VARIOUS SPORTS

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Fast cars beat fastballs, hard dunks or smooth putts as a marketing tool for sports advertisers, according to a recent survey.

Nascar scored the highest marks in a survey of 300 advertising executives, according to a recent report put together by weekly Street & Smith's SportsBusiness Journal.

This first-ever sports marketing survey by the magazine was sent to 1,200 executives at sport sponsors who were presented with a list of subjects concerning how well each sport marketed itself, as well as how each sport services its sponsors.

NFL, NBA, PGA FOLLOW

Nascar was No. 1 in terms of its overall marketing effort, including retail tie-ins, client endorsements, licensing, promotional opportunities and media coverage. After the stock-car racing group, the top five in order of marketing effectiveness are: National Football League, National Basketball Association, Professional Golfers' Association of America and the Women's National Basketball Association.

Major League Baseball, the International Olympic Committee, the National Hockey League, Senior PGA and the U.S. Olympic Committee round out the top 10.

When it came to client relations and service, Nascar again took the lead. But, surprisingly, the No. 2 and No. 3 sports were minor league hockey and minor league baseball, followed by the Ladies Professional Golfers Association, the PGA and the NFL.

"We knew Nascar was doing well, but we were surprised that they came out higher than the four major sports leagues," said Richard Weiss, publisher of Street & Smith's SportsBusiness Journal.

He added that the survey shows "there is a good message for golf here. For the NBA, the bottom line is that it markets itself well, but there seems to be some question about the sport's long-term viability."

APPROVAL RATING UP TO 98%

Nascar scored favorably among the respondents, earning 60% to 98% approval ratings in most categories. Most other sports properties pulled approval ratings at less than 50%. Of the four major professional sports, the NFL achieved the lead spot with the NBA, NHL and Major League Baseball coming in second, third and fourth, respectively.

The eight-page survey was broken down into some 20 different areas. Also included were factors including product fit, fan demographics, game structure and frequency of events.

It also gleaned marketers' reasons for choosing a particular sport, including total reach, key demographics, access to athletes and naming rights, and "sponsorship protection from ambush marketing." The survey said Nascar rated the

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