JUNE 24, 2014     

Contact: Sarah Feldman (print) or Anamarie Rebori (broadcast) – 202-228-6263  

McCaskill Keeps Spotlight on Army National Guard Recruiting

Weeks after grilling Guard leadership on wasteful spending in recruiting program,

Senator presses for updates on changes to marketing contracts with professional sports organizations

 WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Financial & Contracting Oversight, today pressed for updates from Army National Guard leadership on its investigations into wasteful, ineffective spending with sports marketing.

In a letter to Major General Judd Lyons, the Acting Director of the Army National Guard, McCaskill recapped promises made by Guard leadership during last month’s hearing regarding the Guard’s sponsorship and marketing contracts.

“You stated that you were currently reviewing programs and making decisions for how to spend your marketing and recruiting funds,” wrote McCaskill. “You also stated that you had tasked your staff with performing an analysis of the current sports marketing program. You stated that you would be receiving that analysis and making a decision regarding next year’s contracts within the month following the hearing date.”

McCaskill continued, “As part of the Subcommittee’s ongoing oversight, I request that your office provide a copy of the analysis prepared by your staff. I also request that you provide a briefing for the Subcommittee staff to discuss your plans for professional sports sponsorships for 2015, including any alternatives the Army National Guard has identified.”

Last month, McCaskill grilled Lyons on why the Guard continues these contracts when almost every other service branch has discontinued them, and on whether senior Guard officials had the opportunity to receive perks from NASCAR and Indycar from the sponsorship contracts. The target demographic for the National Guard is primarily young adults between the ages of 18 and 24. However, only 10 percent of NASCAR viewers are between 18 and 24. The typical age of an IndyCar fan is between 35 and 54 years old. 

The Army, the Navy, the Marine Corps, and the Coast Guard, all of which used to sponsor NASCAR, have decided to end these programs. The Regular Army ended its sponsorship with NASCAR in 2012 after concluding that the program had the highest cost per lead in the Army’s portfolio of sponsorships. The Marine Corps made the same decision in 2006, when it determined that the effectiveness of sponsoring a NASCAR team was almost impossible to measure. The Navy ended its own sponsorship of NASCAR in 2008 because the program was too expensive compared to the marketing benefit it received. And the Coast Guard ended its relationship with NASCAR in 2006 when the costly $9.6 million investment generated only 350 leads. 

Read McCaskill’s letter to Major General Judd Lyons HERE

Click HERE to read highlights of McCaskill’s fight for stronger accountability in Washington.