NASCAR has had some crazy moments in the past.
While Juan Pablo Montoya setting Daytona International Speedway on fire, Matt Kenseth’s playoff hopes almost being destroyed by an ambulance and Brad Keselowski accusing Toyota of cheating all come to mind as the weirdest moments that the sport has ever had, some will find even crazier things in a drivers sponsorship contract, especially when the contract recently went public due to a court case.
Kasey Kahne will be leaving Hendrick Motorsports at the end of the season and while a lot of that is due to his performance issues on the track over the last few years, there is another variable that is equally as important as the on track records. That is the sponsorship deals and due to a court case between Sports Marketing Consultants and Rick Hendrick over a compensation dispute, Kasey Kahne’s contract information in now public.
1. Bounty put on certain accomplishments.
Isn’t it weird when certain accomplishments are worth different things to different people. For example, Farmers insurance’s contract with Kasey Kahne included a performance bonus for winning certain races and even poles. According to the article about court case by ESPN, the contract between the two parties included a clause where winning a Daytona 500 pole would net the team a 100,000 dollar pay day
A championship would have gotten them a 1,157,895 dollar bonus and a top five in final ownership standings would have earned them 578,947 dollars and a spot in the playoffs got the team a 289,474 in 2012. The bonuses were capped at 1.5 Million dollars in 2012, but was expended to 2 million dollars in 2013 due to him making The playoffs and finishing fourth in 2012 final standings.
2. Extremely vague moral contract
Its impossible to ignore the fact that image is extremely important in sports today and that’s why many sponsorship deals come with morale clauses. Whether these are a result of fear that they will be guilty by association with the driver or because some scandals have the potential to end a drivers career in matter of seconds is unclear, but it does make NASCAR driver more mindful of their P’s and Q’s
According to ESPN Kasey Kahne’s sponsorship contract with Farmers included a moral clause that stated, Farmers can immediately terminate the deal “if driver is convicted of any felony, performs any irresponsible act or an act which materially and publicly prejudices sponsor, is convicted of driving under the influence, arrested, charged or indicted for driving while intoxicated, arrested, charged or indicted for any act involving drugs, controlled substances, sexual misconduct or illegal firearms or weapons possession or is convicted of any similar crime.”
3. A poor performance clause.
In what has to be every working man’s nightmare come to life Kasey Kahne’s sponsorship deal with Farmers Insurance included a poor performance clause, which gave the Insurance company a 1 million dollar discount in its base price if Kahne failed to accomplish certain goals during the season. Those season goals included finishing in the top-16, not having a least 5 top-tens and failing to attain ten top-tens for the 2014 season.
4. Mandatory public speaking every weekend
If you thought things couldn’t get much worse after the vagueness of the moral clause that gave them the right to terminate the sponsorship deal with the driver if they did something that the company was uncomfortable with, Kahne’s contract also included 16 two hour appearances each season and Kahne even had to attend a ten minute hospitality session every week as well.
Laugh if you want, but that’s a total of 37 hours away from the race car and that doesn’t even include the 24 hours that are required of Kasey Kahne for multiple filming projects. He also had meet and greets every week, but no exact quantity was given for that. If nothing else, this shows the grueling demands that sponsors place on their drivers and the consequences for if they don’t.
5. Perks, perks and more perks.
While money and recognition are huge incentives for company’s looking to sponsor NASCAR drivers, some times there needs to be some special perks added in too! For Farmers Insurance, who sponsored Kahne between 2012 and 2016, those special perks included six annual hard cards for their personnel to come and see races, and four hot passes , which allowed them to, ” be in the garage area while cars were in action — for every primary race.”