Nationwide To Exit NASCAR Series Sponsorship, But Stay In Sport
Nationwide Insurance will exit its title sponsorship of NASCAR's secondary series following the '14 season, but the company plans to increase its spending in the sport by sponsoring a Sprint Cup team, buying media, cutting track deals and maintaining its position as NASCAR's official insurer. Nationwide is in the sixth year of a seven-year series title sponsorship. The title rights and media package cost approximately $8M a year. Nationwide CMO Matt Jauchius said the deal, which was signed in '07, had helped the company expand its business and earn the respect and trust of avid NASCAR fans. By increasing its sponsorship in the Sprint Cup, where it currently sponsors Roush Fenway Racing driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr., and continuing to endorse and feature Danica Patrick and Dale Earnhardt Jr. in advertising during Cup races, he hopes the company can expand brand awareness with casual NASCAR fans.
Jauchius said, "Being a series sponsor was the right thing at that particular time but we see Sundays (for Cup races) as the next step. You'll see us lean into this even more at the Cup level. ... I will spend more money in 2014 and 2015 (in NASCAR) by shifting assets around a bit." NASCAR plans to begin searching for a new title sponsor immediately. That effort will be led by Chief Sales Officer Jim O'Connell.