Case Study

The National Hot Rod Association Hits a Coca-Cola Speed Bump

Joyce A. Young, Paul W. Clark
February 23, 2023
North America
Marketing & Sales, Strategy & General Management
8 pages
sponsorship, Partnerships, business decision
Student Price: 
$4.00 (€3.76)
Average rating: 

This case describes a dilemma faced by the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) and its president, Glen Cromwell. On August 12, 2020, The Coca-Cola Company accused the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) of a material breach of the sponsorship agreement between the two parties. As NHRA president, Cromwell knew the venerable relationship was on shaky ground. The Covid-19 pandemic had caused numerous race cancellations and postponements. Cromwell, however, had not anticipated Coca-Cola, with total U.S. sponsorship spending approaching $300 million, would suddenly, without merit, terminate the long-time partnership. Without the sponsorship revenue, the NHRA faced a challenging financial situation. On September 21, 2020, the NHRA took legal action against Coca-Cola. Students are asked to evaluate the situation from both organizations’ perspectives and decide if they support the legal action taken by the racing series. 

Learning Outcomes: 

In completing this assignment, students should be able to:

1. Examine the impact of an unforeseen negative situation on sponsorship value

2. Evaluate the causes of conflict between organizations

3. Calculate the monetary impact related to a business decision

4. Analyze a given business decision