Sources: IndyCar In Talks With NTT Corp. About Title Sponsorship Deal
IndyCar has been in advanced talks with NTT Corp., the Japanese parent company of NTT Data, about taking over as title sponsor, according to sources. IndyCar has been in the market searching for a replacement for Verizon for more than a year, and the hunt is coming down to the wire with pre-season testing set to kick off at Circuit of the Americas next month. NTT has emerged as one of the few companies that IndyCar has been seriously talking to in recent months, according to more than half a dozen people informed of the matter, though it could not be confirmed whether the deal was finalized or still being negotiated. Still, IndyCar CEO Mark Miles has said to expect an announcement this month. One of NTT’s main subsidiaries, NTT Data, is a longtime sponsor of Chip Ganassi Racing’s IndyCar program and is one of the largest IT services companies in the world with more than $16B in annual revenue. It was not clear whether NTT would use its name, the NTT Data name or one of its several other subsidiaries if it landed the deal. On top of having its logo on cars, the company has redesigned CGR’s website and provided the racing organization with everything from performance data analysis to wearable technology for drivers to track their vital signs. NTT landing the title sponsorship would not be expected to affect the company’s deal with CGR, a source said. IndyCar President Jay Frye has been helping lead the title sponsor hunt. Verizon paid $10M annually for its deal. IndyCar declined to comment on NTT.