When a team shuts down everything is affected; drivers and team members are left in a tough situation especially when the move happens late in the season. Included in that oftentimes are the sponsors of the team who are left in a decision to either move to another team or drop out of the sport entirely.
On Thursday, according to Sports Business Daily, Aaron’s announced it will not sponsor a car in NASCAR for the 2016 season after previously sponsoring Michael Waltrip Racing’s soon-to-be-shuttered No. 55 for the past few years.
According to the website, the company had been in talks with other organizations for 2016, but ultimately decided against pursuing further talks.
“We have decided to take some time off from a team sponsorship for the 2016 season,” the company said in a press release. The NASCAR fanbase is an important audience for us and we have built substantial equity over the past 15 years. We are exploring creative ways to continue to participate in the sport in 2016 including media, brand relationships and track activation.”
Aaron’s had a long relationship with MWR and Michael Waltrip. The company first appeared on a MWR car in August 2000 in the then NASCAR Busch Series at Bristol Motor Speedway. Since then the company has with the team in some capacity and has been on a Cup car steadily since the 2008 season.
MWR announced earlier in the season the team will cease operations after the 2015 season, leaving drivers Clint Bowyer, David Ragan and Brian Vickers without rides at the moment. Bowyer has been linked to HScott Motorsports for 2016.