(Posted Thu. Aug 25th, 2011)
Aug. 25: National Corn Growers Association President Bart Schott yesterday presented on NCGA Initiatives in NASCAR, advocacy and policy to the American Coalition for Ethanol’s “Rooted in America: 24th Annual Ethanol Conference” in Des Moines, Iowa. During his presentation, Schott explained the incredible media attention that NCGA and its American Ethanol alliance partners, have drawn to both the importance and performance of this renewable, domestic biofuel.
Schott began with a brief overview of how the partnership was formed. In order to capitalize on the opportunity to reach NASCAR’s loyal fan base of more than 80 million, the groups formed American Ethanol and became an official NASCAR sponsor.
As part of its overall Green Initiative, NASCAR switched the fuel used in every car in all three series to the Sunoco Green E15 blend in 2011. The move to an ethanol blend created a natural opportunity to partner on an initiative highlighting both the sport’s dedication to a cleaner environment, the many environmental and security benefits of ethanol and the important role American farmers play in the national movement toward biofuels.
Schott noted ethanol has a concrete impact on the rural communities across the Midwest through job creation and revenue generation.
“An average size ethanol plant adds $275 million dollars to the state economy annually,” explained Schott. “Furthermore, it creates 1,540 jobs, both directly and indirectly, in rural America at a time when increasing employment opportunities in our heartland is critical. With ethanol we avoid sending oil dollars overseas and actually create job opportunities for hard working Americans.”
Speaking on the incredible success of the program’s inaugural season, Schott noted that, by the end of June NASCAR had already placed positive messages about ethanol in front of approximately six million NASCAR fans who watch televised races and directly generated media valued at more than $7.5 million.
“In addition to more traditional advertisements aired by NASCAR to promote ethanol, television coverage of races has emphasized the importance of ethanol in a multitude of ways,” said Schott. “From in-car cameras and mention by announcers to the placement of the American Ethanol logo on the fuel port of every car, this initiative generated an additional $2.8 million dollars in broadcast exposure media by the end of June, when the season was only half over.”
Schott emphasized the importance of presenting messages to these fans in particular noting NASCAR fans are three times more likely to purchase products and services from sport sponsors as non-fans. In gaining their attention, ethanol captures a loyal, passionate following.
Following the NASCAR update, Schott explained other NCGA efforts to bring together important ethanol industry stakeholders on projects such as The Ethanol Roadmap and the 25 x 25 Dialogue. Both projects bring organizations representing various groups, to work cooperatively building an overall vision for the future of the industry. The Ethanol Roadmap collaborators include ACE, Growth Energy and the Renewable Fuels Association while a variety of agricultural and livestock groups participated in the 25 x 25 Dialogue.
“As an industry, we recognize that it is critical we come together to promote the benefits ethanol provides our nation today and to ensure its role in improving the environment and our national energy security in the coming decades,” said Schott. “The need for ethanol is too great and the opportunities too boundless for our nation to maintain the status quo. By jointly defining a clear vision of ethanol’s role in our nation’s future and educating the American public on its benefits, we can help our nation, our communities and one another.”
For more information about the benefits of ethanol, please click here.