Sprint has extended its title sponsorship deal with Nascar until the end of 2016. In what is billed as an 'entitlement' partnership, the deal continues an association between the series and telecommunications company which began at the start of 2004.
The new deal is a three-year agreement, covering 2014 until 2016. Sprint's original ten-year deal, which began in 2004 when the company was called Nextel, runs to 2013. That deal was believed to have been worth some US$75 million a year.
Sprint will continue to lend its name to the Nascar Sprint Cup, Nascar's top tier series which was won this year by Tony Stewart. The company has activated its sponsorship in a variety of ways including its mobile application and the introduction of the Miss Sprint Cup competition.
“Nascar fans are great customers who reward us with their loyalty,” said Dan Hesse, Sprint's chief executive. “We’re very pleased to continue to have our brand associated with the most competitive and exciting form of racing in the world.”
Nascar chief executive Brian France added: “They have been a fantastic partner and we are immensely pleased to continue with Sprint as the entitlement partner for our premier series. This new agreement aligns perfectly with our aggressive five-year plan, which is laser-focused on continuing to improve our product, keep our existing fans engaged, and reach new fans.”
Sprint, under the Nextel name, replaced tobacco brand Winston as Nascar's chief sponsor in February 2004 with the series becoming the Sprint Cup in 2008. The deal is a significant marker for Nascar, which has suffered from a dip in spectator attendance in recent years but remains the dominant motorsport series in the USA, and comes ahead of negotiations for a new US broadcast rights deal which must be negotiated in time for the 2015 season.
The deal will have an economic impact on the entire Nascar community: 65 per cent of the sport's revenues are handed to the tracks on which the series races, 25 per cent to the teams with 10 per cent retained by Nascar.