SBD/September 18, 2017/Marketing and Sponsorship

Driving Away: Verizon Likely Will Not Renew IndyCar Title Sponsorship After '18

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IndyCar CEO Mark Miles confirmed that Verizon is not likely to renew its title sponsorship of the series after it expires following the ’18 schedule. Miles said, “It's likely that the relationship will change, but we’re hopeful that (the relationship) will continue.” It is possible Verizon could stay on as an official telecom sponsor or in other ways as an advertiser in the sport. Miles did not give a timetable as to an official announcement, but he said he met with Verizon execs at the season-finale at Sonoma this weekend to try to sort out the situation. Verizon’s deal with IndyCar is worth around $10M annually and started in ’14 after it replaced apparel company Izod. Team Penske, which saw Josef Newgarden last night claim his first IndyCar title, also has a longstanding relationship with Verizon, which has B2B deals with Roger Penske’s automotive interests. That is likely to continue despite Verizon likely dropping the title sponsorship, sources have said in recent months. Verizon works with CSM Sport & Entertainment on its motorsports marketing, while Momentum is Verizon’s overall sports marketing agency. Whether IndyCar has already started seeking out possible replacements for Verizon was unclear. Verizon did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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