For UPS, sports sponsorships—like the one the company has as the official package carrier of NASCAR—translate to top-line business. That’s because before signing on as a sponsor of any property, the company “looks for opportunities to [entertain] our customers, recognize our employees, and network with the people that orchestrate the event itself,” says Ron Rogowski, director, sponsorship and events, for UPS in Atlanta.
That networking leads to relationships like the one UPS has with NASCAR, which allows UPS to handle all the shipping that comes in and out of the track for NASCAR’s 37 races throughout the year.
It means the shipping company plays a pivotal role in ensuring everything goes smoothly on race day. Items from car parts to fire suits to sales merchandise get shipped by UPS to every race site.
The business partnership “gives us an opportunity to showcase what we are good at: logistics,” says Rogowski. “And we get to tell that story at the track to interested and potential customers.”
UPS’s target customers are corporate decision-makers responsible for transportation, and the company also leverages its sponsorship as an opportunity to host them at the track during the races. Guests are treated to garage tours where they learn about UPS’s partnership with NASCAR and are even given an opportunity to meet some of the drivers and attend driver meetings. “They have unfettered, behind-the-scenes access,” says Rogowski. “We provide them with an experience they normally couldn’t get but also use that opportunity to share our message.”
Rogowski adds that by partnering with properties, not only as a sponsor but as a logistics provider, UPS is able to generate a significant amount of business from the relationship. “We look at sponsorship as an investment that has to pay back a return,” he says. “Otherwise, it’s not worth pursuing.”