SBD/March 7, 2014/Marketing and Sponsorship

Verizon Nearing 10-Year, $100M Deal To Serve As IndyCar Series Title Sponsor

Verizon in the new deal would spend about $10M a year in rights, activation and media
Verizon is close to finalizing a 10-year, $100M deal to become the title sponsor of the IndyCar Series. Under terms of the deal, Verizon would commit to spend approximately $10M a year in rights, activation and media, sources said. It has the option to exit the deal after five years. The agreement brings an end to a two-year search to replace Izod, which was the title sponsor from '10-13. The total rights fee is valued at $5M a year. While that represents a significant increase from the roughly $2M a year Verizon was spending as an official sponsor of the IndyCar Series, it is a decrease from the $6M Izod paid. As title sponsor, Verizon’s media and activation commitment would be approximately $5M, which is flat with the $5M Izod reportedly spent. Verizon declined to comment on the title sponsorship, but a spokesperson said, “We’ve worked with IndyCar a long time, and it’s been a great partnership.” Hulman & Co. CEO Mark Miles, whose company owns the IndyCar Series, declined comment. Verizon has been an official sponsor of the IndyCar Series since '10 and a sponsor of Penske Racing’s IndyCar team since '09. When Izod alerted IndyCar officials in '12 that it wanted out of its title sponsorship, the series began pitching presenting sponsorships to existing partners such as Verizon and Firestone. The series, which at the time was led by Randy Bernard, wanted $6M annually in rights and $5M annually in media and activation. But Miles said last year that the price of the sponsorship was less important than the amount of activation a sponsor was willing to commit. JMI consults with Verizon Wireless on its motorsports sponsorships. Wasserman Media Group works with it on its NFL sponsorship.
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