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SBD/December 5, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship
Sprint Extends Title Sponsorship Of NASCAR's Cup Series Through '16
Published December 5, 2011
GOOD TIME FOR GOOD NEWS: Hesse on Friday “praised the 10-race Chase for the Sprint Cup championship as the best ever since its 2004 inception.” The AP’s Jenna Fryer noted negotiations on an extension “had been going on for some time.” Sprint officials indicated during the Nov. 20 season finale that they “were close to announcing a new deal” (AP, 12/2). In Charlotte, Jim Utter wrote the news “couldn't have come at a better time for NASCAR, which ended the 2011 season with a TV ratings increase in the Cup series, an exciting, down-to-the-wire championship battle and significant improvement in attendance at many tracks.” By completing an extension early, Sprint “will have at least another five years of sponsorship, which coincides with NASCAR's five-year Industry Action Plan, designed to help the sport grow and reach new audiences” (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 12/4).
AROUND THE SPORT: SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL’s Tripp Mickle reports NASCAR “renewed six of 12 existing sponsors” in ‘11, but the departure of three partners -- Craftsman, Diageo and O’Reilly’s -- means total sponsorship revenue “will be flat to slightly down in early 2012.” NASCAR VP/Corporate Marketing & Chief Sales Officer Jim O’Connell said, “We had a strong year in terms of renewals and people who wanted to stay in the sport -- big brand names, blue-chip sponsors. The fact that they want to stay in the sport proves what we do for their business. Did we lose some? Absolutely. Diageo repurposed its money. Craftsman has had its business troubles. But given the overall economic climate, we had some good success with our overall sponsors” (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 12/5 issue).