Why Car Racing is Big Business for the Meat Industry
What are the first three products that come to mind when you think of NASCAR fans? It’s a sport, so you think of beer, auto parts, and maybe NASCAR fan gear.
Push those notions right out of your mind. Ok how about for the top 5? Maybe add on some tobacco products, even if it is an e-cigarette and buttery delicious biscuits like Mama used to make? After all, North Carolina is home to Southern fare and NASCAR and the tobacco industry.
Leaving The Competition In The Dust
This game could go on all day, and you may never think to mention meat. But, meat is what you get when you check a list of NASCAR sponsorships. Porking up for the rigors of a race, Smithfield Foods reveals its sales jump every time the number 43 car’s — Richard Petty’s wheels hit the race track.
Beyond knowing how their product would appeal to the NASCAR fans, they knew to bet on a winner. Richard Petty is in the NASCAR Hall of Fame and has well over 200 wins over the course of his career.
Last year they started with 15 events and have ratcheted up their efforts to 29 in the 2016 season. Over the following three years, they will increase their support of Petty.
Smithfield Foods sales doubled and tripled following the sponsorship of race cars. Its parent company, Shuanghui International Holdings, took the company public last year when it purchased it.
Shanghui is onto something. It turns out that meat companies, especially pork sausage, get all rolled up together in customer’s minds. They think one sausage is just like the next. The company’s plan is to differentiate its brand to lessen commoditization that otherwise cheapens a brand’s value.
For instance, Kraft and Hormel were stiff competition for Smithfield, which is now leaving the competition in the dust.
Fans Know Their Racing & Meat Products
The CEO is the brainchild of this effort. Pope is a big NASCAR fan. It turns out NASCAR fans know their meat products when compared to other demographics.
They must also be connoisseurs of their beef products because one of North America’s largest meat processing companies, Cargill Beef, has made sponsorships of drivers a piece of the marketing plan you could sink your teeth into.
There have been many instances of beef jerky hitting the ad space on televised professional sports and even when sitcoms are airing. People are in a good mood when they are watching television.
As it turns out, the first half of Monday morning is spent thinking about lunch. So, no wonder meat sales make a solid jump following Sunday’s racing events.
NASCAR is a family event where both the participants and the viewers tend to collectively watch the races with those they hold dear. They trust the brands that their favorite driver flaunts on his car. It becomes an extension of the driver.
Even if the team issues gear with the Smithfield logo, it will sell and continue advertising the brand long after race season is over.