“Scientology's strategy to use motorsports as a promotional tool...”
May 11, 2016 4:58 PM Subscribe
When Scientology Sponsored Race Cars [Road and Track] John Travolta. Mario Andretti. The Pope. Aliens. Germans. The Indy 500. Milwaukee. The Church of Scientology. Welcome to 1988's bizarre intersection between motorsports, religion, and sponsorship.
As much fun as it would be to see the National Basketball Association powered by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, The Nation of Islam's Major League Baseball series, or the NFL presented by Dianetics, Hubbard's group chose the path of least resistance.
Professional race teams depend on big annual budgets to stay in business, and for a lucky few, Hubbard's people weren't afraid to open the bank vault through Bridge and Dianetics. For an emerging religious institution like Scientology—one that thrived on the age-old practice of recruiting the masses to follow and donate their earnings—there was a simple brilliance in paying to be on race cars: It came with access to large, brand-loyal crowds at motor races.
With each racing fan representing a possible revenue stream for the church, the cost to sponsor a team was nominal compared to the collective fortune waiting to be plundered in the grandstands. As far as relationships go, Scientology and racing seemed meant for each other..
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