Today’s Editorial January 25: NASCAR good for Cayman

A handful of Cayman businessmen have found a unique way to put the Cayman Islands in the spotlight.

Arch Automotive, Spectrum Productions Ltd. along with Style 96.5 FM radio station have plans to sponsor the Cayman Islands name and logo branding on a National Association of Stock Car Auto Racing vehicle.

That car, which will be driven by NASCAR Busch Series driver Donnie Neuenberger, will be seen by millions of people who go to the race and watch it on television.

Branding a NASCAR auto with the Cayman Islands name and logo is visionary.

And it is an unselfish act.

Any of those businessmen could have insisted that their own brands be advertised on the vehicle.

For those unfamiliar with NASCAR, it is a very big deal in the United States.

According to website HI International, over the past 10 years, NASCAR has become the fastest-growing sport in America.

More than 200,000 fans attended last year’s Daytona 500.

That’s more than attended the championship games of America’s three largest sports, American football, baseball and basketball combined.

More than 75 million people now consider themselves NASCAR fans – roughly one-third of the U.S. population. Television ratings for the weekly races trail only American football on a per-event basis.

But getting the branding out goes far beyond television and the racing venue; there are thousands of Internet sites devoted to NASCAR and the sport’s drivers.

That’s a lot of free advertising for the tourism product of the Cayman Islands.

Because the sponsorship is between Mr. Neuenberger and members of the private sector, the amount of the deal won’t be made public.

But if this venture proves to be fruitful for the Cayman Islands, it would be great if Government could eventually step up to the plate with marketing money.

The men and women who are working to make the NASCAR race series a good venture for Cayman are to be commended.

It’s not often that a group of people put up their own personal money for the good of a country.

To show them our support, the sports section of the Caymanian Compass will begin running articles about NASCAR.

We wish Mr. Neuenberger much success with NASCAR and in helping shine a good light on the Cayman Islands.