Sprint Renews Title Sponsorship of Nascar Cup Until 2016
December 5, 2011
NASCAR has announced that they had signed an extension to their existing sponsorship deal with telecoms giant Sprint, which will see the company have naming rights to the top-level Cup series through to the end of the 2016 season.
The series became the Sprint Cup when the Sprint Corporation took over Nextel Communications in 2005. Nextel had been the title sponsors since 2004 when they replaced longtime series sponsor Winston, and Sprint took over the original ten-year sponsorship deal with their acquisition and the Nextel Cup duly became the Sprint Cup.
The original deal would have expired at the end of the 2013 season, but it had seemed clear for much of this season that Sprint were looking at extending and deepening their backing of America’s most popular motor sport series, leading to last week’s announcement that a three-year extension would see Sprint remaing as the the sport’s main backers until the end of 2016.
Sprint chief executive officer Dan Hesse, said: “I could not be more pleased than to announce and celebrate tonight that Sprint and NASCAR have agreed to an extension of our relationship.”
Sprint’s vice president for corporate marketing Steve Gaffney, commented: “It probably wasn’t an option for us not to [extend]. It’s too important for us as a brand. It’s an incredible relationship. It’s a great sport … The enthusiasm of the fans, the product of the track: we couldn’t be more proud to be associated with NASCAR, and we look forward to this relationship growing more and more over the coming years.”
NASCAR’s chief marketing officer Steve Phelps, added: “We’re pleased to have Sprint back and to have an extension. To have a brand like Sprint, who is our entitlement partner and our largest sponsor in the sport, to come back and essentially renew early for us is huge. I think it provides a lot of wind at our back.
“We had a great year at the track, an incredible Chase with the best finish we’ve had ever in our Sprint Cup history. So, yeah, I think it will provide some significant wind at our back and help those teams that are still looking for sponsorship.”
Neither Sprint nor NASCAR would give details about the financial terms of the agreement, and whether or not Sprint are maintaining their former level of sponsorship funding – estimated at around $70m per year – or whether the current economic climate has forced everyone to tighten their belts as the price for the financial security and public endorsement of an early renewal.
“I can say that I’m 100 percent [sure] that both Sprint and NASCAR are really pleased about the way the negotiations ended up and the fact that we’re partners through 2016,” insisted Gaffney