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Crown Royal Ending Sponsorships With NASCAR, Roush Fenway

Crown Royal today announced it will end its official sponsorships of NASCAR and Roush Fenway Racing's No. 17 Sprint Cup Series car after this season. The brand follows Jack Daniels, Jim Beam and others who have exited the sport, bringing an end to a six-year run that saw spirit brands dot the hoods of stock cars throughout the NASCAR season. Diageo, Crown Royal's parent company, said it will keep its race entitlement at Richmond Int'l Raceway and focus its future marketing efforts in NASCAR on its "Your Name Here" promotion around that race, which awards race naming rights to an adult fan. Diageo did not provide a reason why it was ending its NASCAR and Roush sponsorships or indicate where it was shifting its marketing savings.

Diageo North American Whisky VP/Marketing Yvonne Briese in a statement said, "We have developed strong relationships with the people at both organizations – they have not only been fantastic business partners, but have also become our friends. We want to thank them for working with us." Roush Fenway did not respond to questions before deadline.

Meanwhile, the team today announced a two-race deal with Affliction Clothing for the No. 17 car driven by Matt Kenseth. All four of Roush's largest Sprint Cup sponsors were up for renewal this year. It renewed with 3M, lost Crown Royal and remains in negotiations with UPS and Aflac. Crown Royal is the first sponsor to end its official partnership with NASCAR this year. The sanctioning body is working on renewals with Bank of America, Exide, SiriusXM Radio, UPS and Visa.
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