SBD/Issue 17/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

Running On Empty: 7-Eleven Drops Sponsorship Of Tony Kanaan

Kanaan Has Three Years Left
On Andretti Autosport Deal

7-Eleven has notified Andretti Autosport that it will not continue as the primary sponsor of the team's No. 11 Izod IndyCar Series entry driven by Tony Kanaan beyond this season. Andretti Autosport is working to find a new primary sponsor for the car, which Kanaan has driven since '03, and hopes to keep him in the car for the '11 season. 7-Eleven will maintain its position as an associate sponsor of the team's No. 7 IndyCar Series entry driven by Danica Patrick for '11 (Andretti Autosport). In Indianapolis, Curt Cavin noted Kanaan has "three years left on his contract with Andretti Autosport" that pays him more than $3M per season, but it is unclear if the team "could afford to pay him" without a primary sponsor (INDYSTAR.com, 10/4). Andretti Autosport yesterday said that Kanaan is "free to talk with other teams." The driver wrote on his Twitter account, "I will keep fighting as I always did. Setbacks and difficult times make me stronger" (AP, 10/4). Kanaan reportedly was "told of his lost sponsorship over the weekend" at the season-ending Cafes do Brasil Indy 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway (AUTORACINGNEWS.org, 10/4).

WATCH THIS: Swiss watch manufacturer Tissot yesterday announced that it has reached an agreement with JR Motorsports for sponsorship of Patrick's No. 7 NASCAR Nationwide Series entry through the '11 season. Tissot will be the primary sponsor on Patrick's Chevy for Saturday's race at Auto Club Speedway, and will be an associate sponsor for the remainder of her '10 events. The arrangement for next season calls for Tissot to be the primary sponsor for the Nationwide race at Chicagoland Speedway and an associate for all others. Patrick has been a Tissot brand ambassador since '05 (Tissot).

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