No sport is more sponsor-driven and sponsor-defined than NASCAR.
Sure, professional soccer teams wear uniforms designed around sponsor logos, but it's nothing compared to the relationship advertisers have with stock cars.
The vehicles themselves have been referred to as flying billboards, and drivers can reel off a stream of sponsor names with the fluidity of an auctioneer.
The advertising relationships extend to the tracks themselves, of course. And sometimes a sponsorship deal just comes off as, well, funny.
Darlington Raceway, the track "Too Tough Too Tame" and one that has offered great race action throughout its entire history, now has an official tequila.
A brand known as 3 Amigos Tequila has been named the "Official Tequila of Darlington Raceway."
"Like Darlington Raceway, 3 Amigos Tequila is all about good times and fun," Darlington Raceway president Chris Browning said in a statement announcing the deal. "We look forward to a long partnership with the 3 Amigos Tequila brand."
Obviously the CEO of the global brand manager for 3 Amigos, the awesomely named J. Smoke Wallin, was also ready to share the warmth following the announcement.
"After experiencing Talladega, we know that southern NASCAR fans are like no other!" Wallin said in a statement that added an exclamation point for emphasis. "We can't wait to meet the Darlington fans and to introduce them to 3 Amigos Tequila."
Look, I'm not a prude. If you're of legal drinking age, feel free to drink 3 Amigos, smoke cigarettes and go to clubs where women use poles as dance partners.
I honestly don't have any major issue with the sponsorship deal, the track or the company. Besides, the sport's roots can be traced to moonshine runners.
But I also chuckle at how NASCAR can have things both ways.
Less than six months ago Browning announced that Darlington was cutting prices in an effort to bring more young people to the races.
"NASCAR is a family sport and we want to make Darlington Raceway as family-friendly as possible," he said.
On the one hand Browning says that -- like his track -- this particular brand of hooch is "all about good times and fun." And when it comes to tequila, I'm pretty sure most people think it takes more than one sip to lead to good times and fun.
On the other hand it seems like if you're serious about making your track as "family-friendly as possible," you might shy away from being tied in so closely with a liquor product.
Ultimately, of course, it's no big deal. NASCAR is a business, and it was a business that spent much of its history sponsored by Big Tobacco while its No. 2 series was long underwritten by a beer brand.
To have a liquor company sign on as an associate sponsor is nothing out of the ordinary.
As long as those fans drinking the official tequila of Darlington Raceway don't become too tough to tame themselves, everything will work out just fine.