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While no exact figures have ever been released for the cost of a sponsoring a Nextel Cup team, estimates vary from $12 million to $20 million for an entire season to be a primary sponsor. A major associate sponsorship can run anywhere from $2 million to $5 million. An associate sponsor can expect to start at $50,000 and go up to $1 million.
Sponsorships in the Busch or Truck series are usually less then half that of the Nextel Cup series.
Contingency sponsorship can start at $10,000 and range upwards to $100,000.
The amount that a sponsor pays is determined by the performance of the team and the popularity of the driver.
One of the most closely guarded secrets in NASCAR is how much drivers are paid. Through the years due to lawsuits and the like, a figure of $400,000 as a base salary for a rookie driver has been put forward. That salary doesn't include the driver's share of the prize money and endorsement contracts.
Forbes magazine listed four-time champion Jeff Gordon's worth in 2004 at $23.4 million. He won just over $8 million in prize money in 2004; the difference came from his base salary and outside endorsements.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|