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Verizon Not Renewing IndyCar Series Entitlement Deal After '18

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Verizon has chosen not to renew its IndyCar entitlement deal that ends after next season, series CEO Mark Miles confirmed on Friday, making the telecom carrier a lame-duck partner for '18. Verizon’s deal is worth around $10M annually and started in ’14 after it replaced apparel company Izod. Miles had previously said that a renewal with Verizon was unlikely, but today marks the first time IndyCar is confirming that Verizon did not renew. The company is expected to stay in the sport via its team relationship with Team Penske, with whom its had a relationship for nearly a decade.

Miles said that IndyCar will immediately start searching for a partner, and will use the opportunity to try to package the entitlement rights as part of a larger buy with a brand who also wants to advertise heavily with its next media-rights partner. IndyCar’s media rights also expire after '18 and it is currently in talks with incumbents ESPN and NBC Sports, as well as other media companies. Miles expects to have the deal for U.S. media rights wrapped up by the end of this year.

Miles said, “Verizon has been a super sponsor and will continue to be so through all of next season. We appreciate that they reached their decision in a timely way so that we can thoughtfully and deliberately go back into the market for 2019.” Verizon, which works with CSM Sport & Entertainment on its motorsports marketing, has undergone a host of exec changes in recent years and is also heavily focused on its large investments with the NFL and NBA.
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