Racing has taken a left turn on environmental issues, and sponsors that have historically shied away from the sport are giving it a second look.
As a sport that celebrates the burning of fuel, racing is a strange fit for any potential sponsor that associates itself with environmentalism. That has been changing, however, particularly through Formula E, an electric vehicle race series.
- Sponsors of Extreme E, a Formula E-sponsored off-road series in climate change-impacted regions include clean energy company AFC Energy, plastics biodegrader Poly Materia, and plant-based burger-maker Neat Burger.
- NASCAR’s Green campaign includes initiatives around biodiesel, solar farms, and oil recycling.
- The Roush Fenway Racing team announced it had gone carbon neutral in February. In 2019, Formula I stated plans to have a net-zero carbon footprint by 2030.
The climate-friendly association also lends Formula E and Extreme E a different aesthetic than that of traditional racing. While NASCAR brings in mainstream brands such as Coca-Cola, Busch, and Geico, Extreme E has attracted luxury brands like Moncler, LuisaViaRoma, and Zenith.
Automakers who compete in NASCAR’s races have also been quick to align themselves with racing’s new environmentally friendly side. Nissan, Mercedes, Jaguar, and Porsche are all fielding Formula E teams.