Mars, Inc. “Parks” Kyle



(WOMR file photo)

Mars, Inc., has disassociated itself from NASCAR driver Kyle Busch for the remaining two Sprint Cup Series races of the 2011 season, removing the paint scheme of primary sponsor M&M’S from the Joe Gibbs Racing M&M’s #18 Toyota Camry until 2012!  The decision by Mars, Inc. to disassociate the company from Kyle Busch and Joe Gibbs Racing until the 2012 season.

This is the latest fallout from Kyle’s temper tantrum, deliberate crashing of Ron Hornaday last weekend at the Texas Motor Speedway. For those of you who may have forgotten, or failed to see the replay, check out this video.


Mars, Inc. made a decision to withdraw its sponsorship on the  JGR #18 Toyota for the final two races of the 2011 season.  However, Mars, Inc. noted that the M&M’s paint scheme will once again adorn the JGR #18 Toyota in 2012, with one caveat!   A Mars official said Busch will be the driver, “with the expectation that no future incident” takes place.

“We strongly support Mars’ decision,” team-owner Joe Gibbs said in a statement issued Thursday evening from Avondale, Ariz., site of Sunday’s Chase for the Sprint Cup Race No. 9 at Phoenix International Raceway. “This gives us all time to work together to foster a positive change where Kyle can continue racing in a way we can all be proud of.”

Interstate Batteries will step up to the plate and sponsor Kyle and the JGR #18 Toyota for the final two races of the year.  CEO Norm Miller of Interstate Batteries has been a part of Joe Gibbs Racing since the beginning of JGR, and ultimately has become a personal friend of the Gibbs family.

JGR and Kyle Busch are set to address this sponsorship situation in a press conference from Phoenix International Raceway Friday morning at 9:30 am (MST).

Mars, Inc., announced the decision via a release issued from Hackettstown, N.J., Thursday evening.

“As a proud member of the racing community, Mars and the M&M’S® brand strongly support the partnership we have with Joe Gibbs Racing and are committed to NASCAR,” said Debra A. Sandler, chief consumer officer, Mars Chocolate North America. “Yet, Kyle’s recent actions are unacceptable and do not reflect the values of Mars. While we do not condone Kyle’s recent actions, we do believe that he has shown remorse and has expressed a desire to change. We believe our decision will have a positive impact on Kyle and will help him return next season ready to win.”

It has become very obvious that corporate America takes extremely seriously the image that it’s spokesman represents.  The primary sponsors in NASCAR write a huge checks, in the neighborhood of $15-20 million dollars annually, to have their images/colors prominently displayed on the race car.  In exchange, corporate America is expecting a good return commensurate with their investment.  Likewise, those NASCAR drivers are now representing their corporate partners, both on and off the race track.

With that thought in mind, Mars, Inc. felt that it was in their best interest to remove their colors from Joe Gibbs Racing #18 Toyota for the remaining races of this season.  Mars, Inc., in essence, parked Kyle by removing financial support for the remaining races of 2011.

What are your thoughts?


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