SBD/October 23, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship

Wheels & Deals: Grand Prix Of St. Petersburg In No Rush To Secure New Title Sponsor

Grand Prix of St. Petersburg execs have now created the category of presenting sponsor
IndyCar Series Grand Prix of St. Petersburg President Tim Ramsberger said that the race is "searching for a new title sponsor" but "will move forward without one." Ramsberger said, "It’s going to be on the right terms. This is by no means a fire sale." In Tampa, Margaret Cashill noted in addition to the title sponsorship, the Grand Prix has "created the category of presenting sponsor, which it may offer depending on sale of the title sponsorship." Ramsberger "declined to share financial terms." Ramsberger said that race organizers since the departure of Honda as title sponsor "have received calls from interested parties" (BIZJOURNALS.com, 10/22).

LAGGING BEHIND: In Orlando, George Diaz writes NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Danica Patrick needs "more work before her racing reputation catches up to the level of the buzz she creates with her marketing prowess." Patrick "remains the most polarizing driver on the NASCAR circuit." She is "one of the sport's most marketable drivers despite the fact that she basically chugs along every Sunday at the back of the pack." Patrick is "going to have to make measureable strides next season, not just for her but for the sport itself." Driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. said of Patrick seeking to be relevant in NASCAR, "She needs it more than NASCAR needs it. ... I don't think that the sport wins or loses either way" (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 10/23).

PRIMARY COLORS: Cleveland-based Nextant Aerospace on Monday announced a sponsorship deal with ThorSport Racing for the '14 and '15 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series seasons. Nextant will be primary sponsor of the team's No. 98 Nextant Aerospace Toyota Tundra starting in Daytona for a total of 12 races per season, and will be associate sponsor on all other races for the length of the deal (Nextant).
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