NASCAR driver talks the workings of new sponsorship search as M&M’s departs following 2022
Kyle Busch is entering the 2022 season, the last with sponsor Mars Inc. It’s the last year of a 15-year sponsorship deal and it’s also the last year of Busch’s contract.
The company has been involved in the sport long before Busch. They’ve spent 32 years as a NASCAR sponsor.
“It’s very unfortunate for us and for M&M’s also, I feel like,” Kyle Busch said Wednesday in an interview with FOX Sports. “We just have to go through with whatever happens next.”
The now 36-year old signed a contract extension with Joe Gibbs Racing in 2019. The extension will likely expire at the end of the 2022 season, along with the primary sponsorship.
Joe Gibbs Racing extensions have been three years in duration, in the past. Kyle hasn’t confirmed that his contract expires at the end of 2022. Though, it likely does.
So far, sponsorship hasn’t been located for the 2023 season.
“We’re very early in that game, so we’re not ready for that. Obviously, I’m good where I’m at, would love to stay, and hopefully all that works out.”
Joe Gibbs Racing also has interest in keeping Kyle on the team.
“Kyle is a huge part of our company and will be a huge part of our company,” JGR president Dave Alpern told the Sports Business Journal.
Allowing Kyle Busch to be himself
Kyle Busch is a full blown character.
He’s one that’s hard to control when something goes wrong at the race track. Like when he drove through a cone after a crash, bringing a $50,000 fine.
He’s a ball of personality away from the track as well. Like the time he recorded himself drunk on vacation and later followed with a video of his friend getting pulled over on a golf cart.
Or when Kurt Busch was signed to 23XI Racing but ESPN falsely reported that Kyle Busch would move to 23XI Racing. Kyle rolled with it an opened a fake press conference.
He can become very emotional at the track. So, it’s important to find the right sponsor who understands that.
“M&M’s has been a great sponsor,” Busch said. “Obviously, they allow me to be me a little bit more, gave me some leniency maybe than some others might.”
“In a new sponsor search, you would look for someone that is kind of around the same way. But anything is possible, and we’ll just have to see who that next company is.”
Kyle Busch has also been venturing into other forms of motorsports which may play a role in the sponsorship search. He ran a dirt late model at Bristol Motor Speedway last year. He’s also raced an Outlaw kart in the Tulsa Shootout.
Busch’s son Brexton has started his racing career. He recently competed in his first ever Tulsa Shootout. Would a new sponsor for Kyle Busch also be attached to his son?
“That has been talked about,” Busch added.