NASCAR relationship a winner for Coke

Sponsors, rev your engines.

In a recent study that rated consumers’ recall of NASCAR sponsors, Coca-Cola Co. was a big winner while FedEx ... not so much.

FanLab, an Atlanta-based company, did the study to calculate which NASCAR sponsors consumers recalled when not prompted.

In the June study of 1,044 consumers — of which 518 self-identified as avid or casual NASCAR fans — Coca-Cola came in fourth.

That is a relatively high ranking for Coke, said Brian Evans, FanLab’s director of client relations, given the company doesn’t have its own car. The beverage giant is, however, the official “non-alcoholic beverage,” the “official soft drink” and “official sport drink” of NASCAR. It also sponsors 14 drivers and has its name on two races.

The companies that ranked highest have sponsored teams, however, and in some cases, racetracks and winning drivers: Budweiser was first, Home Depot was second and Lowe’s third.

FedEx, which sponsors a driver, failed to break the top 25 while the “official delivery service” and team sponsor UPS ranked 14th. Aflac, “official supplemental insurance” and a team sponsor, was 23rd.

“If you’re in the top 20, you’re connecting with fans and that program should be working for you,” said Evans.

Susan Stribling, a Coca-Cola North America spokeswoman, said of Coke’s diverse sponsorship approach: “Our brand is just woven throughout the sport. It’s a different approach than others take and it’s worked very, very well for us.”

The recall question was open-ended and fans identified sponsor names unaided. A total of 256 brands were recalled. FanLab used a panel from Greenfield Online, a company that surveys Internet users.

For more information on the study, see