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Volume 25 No. 194
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Sources: Monster Energy's NASCAR Deal A Two-Year Pact With Two-Year Option

Monster Energy's deal to serve as title sponsor for NASCAR’s premier series beginning with the ’17 season is a two-year deal with a two-year option worth about $20M annually in rights, with activation "still being determined but expected to be less robust than predecessor Sprint," according to sources cited by Adam Stern of SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL. Sources said that Sprint was paying $65-75M a year in rights and activation. Last week, Monster execs and staffers flew to NASCAR HQ in Charlotte for immersion meetings and they "began to sort out activation plans, down to figuring out the name and logo of the racing series." Monster Energy VP/Sports Marketing Mitch Covington was "not ready to release activation details but provided hints on what Monster may do." Monster "sponsors a host of motorsports and action sports properties globally and is known for its cross-promotion acumen, and Covington confirmed that it will be looking to cross-promote in NASCAR." He said that "virtually every form of activation imaginable is under consideration, from special NASCAR drinks to basic television advertising." Stern notes a "main concern industry observers share privately about Monster is whether the company’s edgy style will fit with a sport that has a family ethos and atmosphere." But many in the industry "think that for a sport trying to age down, Monster could be the ticket" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 12/12 issue).

WHAT THEY'RE SAYING: ESPN.com featured a roundtable with its NASCAR reporters to discuss Monster's title sponsor deal, and former driver Ricky Craven said the energy drink brand will "help introduce" the sport to "new viewers and consumers." Craven: "I expect creativity behind their marketing and excitement behind their campaign. I do not buy into the concern that our existing loyal fan base won't find appeal in what Monster is selling. They sell energy. We need energy!" Ryan McGee said, "The activation part of it will be interesting. That was the biggest difference in how Sprint attacked the gig as opposed to what we were used to with R.J. Reynolds. I'm sure there will be some 'extreme' stuff that will irritate some folks, but I will say this, having seen what Monster does with other series, they aren't shy." Bob Pockrass: "At least it has a company that knows the pulse of motorsports. The question is whether Monster fits NASCAR's brand and vice versa" (ESPN.com, 12/9).