NASCAR is an expensive sport; The teams are mostly funded from high value sponsorship dollars. But how much?
DC Solar operated a solar generator program. The units were leased to sporting events and other operations.
It was clean energy, designed to make the world a better place. Businesses bought into the solar generator idea for the tax benefits.
The California company collected investors, even big names like Warren Buffett. DC Solar broadly over-estimated the number of Solar units in the field. Over half of the 17,000 generators listed, did not exist.
During an FBI investigation, it was found that some units didn’t exist at all. Instead, it was just parts buried in the sand to help present the image that more units were in the field.
The business was imploding while the owners lived a lavish lifestyle. They grabbed NASCAR sponsorships, a stake in a private jet service, vacation homes, baseball teams and a car collection of at least 150 machines.
The owners pleaded guilty in a $912 million Ponzi scheme.
Jeff Carpoff pleaded guilty to money laundering and conspiracy to commit fraud. Paulette Carpoff, his wife, pleaded guilty to money laundering and conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States.
Sentencing was originally scheduled for May 19, 2020.
NASCAR sponsorship costs
Now, we’re getting new data regarding the cost of NASCAR sponsorships. The numbers were released in court documents.
DC Solar paid Chip Ganassi Racing around $20.5 million from 2016-18. Those funds were part of a multi-car deal between Cup and Xfinity.
For two years, the company sponsored a NASCAR Xfinity Series effort. The total paid for the 2 year Xfinity sponsorship was $5-5.25M per year.
Additionally, DC Solar was the primary sponsor in the NASCAR Cup Series. 20 races cost $8.3M.
An FBI raid abruptly stopped operations at DC Solar. With short notice, Chip Ganassi Racing was forced to shut down their NASCAR Xfinity Series operation. They had just signed Ross Chastain in a full-time deal but the team was forced to close before the season started due to the surprise lack of funding.
Previous sponsorship cost data from court documents showed Farmers Insurance paid Hendrick Motorpsorts $67.28 million for a six year deal with the team. They also had a bonus program in place for performance which maxed out at $2 million.