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Volume 25 No. 215
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IndyCar Relying On NBC Sports To Help Land New Title Sponsor

IndyCar execs are looking at drawing a younger, more educated, higher-earning fan base than NASCAR
Photo: GETTY IMAGES

IndyCar execs are "putting their faith in NBC Sports' promotional muscle to raise new interest in the series, while also relying on NBC's relationships with advertisers to help it land a new title sponsor," according to E.J. Schultz of AD AGE. NBC Sports VP/Sponsorship & Strategy Mike McCormack confirmed that NBC is "assisting with the title sponsorship search," as Verizon's deal expires after this season. McCormack: "We work with so many brands across multiple properties under the NBC Sports umbrella. So it allows us an opportunity to introduce and engage with partners that IndyCar may not be talking to." IndyCar officials "declined to name the companies they have approached." Hulman Motorsports Chief Revenue Officer Rod Davis said that the effort has "reached 'a few hundred' potential sponsors," and 15-20% of those "entered serious discussions." IndyCar execs are "positioning the racing series as drawing a younger, more educated, higher-earning fan base than NASCAR." According to Nielsen Sports Sponsorlink, IndyCar fans have an "average household income of $92,539," and 40% of IndyCar fans are millennials. However, NASCAR still "dominates IndyCar when it comes to total viewers" (ADAGE.com, 8/28).

TIME TO GET TECHY: In addition to a new entitlement partner, IndyCar is also looking for a new official technology partner, and sources said that one candidate is India-based IT company Infosys. The company opened a new hub in Indianapolis earlier this year, and sources said that the league and multiple teams have been eyeing the company as a possible partner. IndyCar and Indianapolis Motor Speedway also are looking to sell the entitlement to the IndyCar Grand Prix and the presenting partnership for the Indy 500 (Adam Stern, Staff Writer).