NASCAR Taps IMG To Handle Global Media Sales Through '24 Season
NASCAR has "tapped IMG to handle global media distribution" through '24, according to Tripp Mickle of SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL. IMG beat out "eight to 10 competing bidders for the business, including Lagardère, MP & Silva and ESPN, which has managed NASCAR’s overseas TV distribution" since '06. Sources said that IMG will "pay an annual rights guarantee and share sales revenue with NASCAR after it recoups its upfront investment." The sport historically has "focused on the U.S. market and concentrated on building its fan base at home," but NASCAR COO Brent Dewar wants to "begin expanding the sport’s fan base overseas and broadening interest in the sport internationally." He "believes media distribution is critical to that." IMG Media Senior VP/Programming & Distribution Hillary Mandel said that NASCAR's interest in "building its fan base abroad was part of what appealed to IMG about working with NASCAR." Mickle reports NASCAR currently is "distributed in more than 150 markets by more than 20 broadcast partners around the world." It said that its "largest TV audiences" are in the U.K., Australia and Canada. All of its current international rights, with the "exception of Canada, will expire at the end of this season." IMG will have 650 hours of "live programming from NASCAR’s Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Truck series." It also plans to "work with NASCAR to develop shoulder programming and highlights for distribution overseas." Mandel said that she "expects to sell live programming in some markets and condensed, tape-delayed programming in others" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 8/4 issue).