NASCAR announced a new partnership
NASCAR began looking for another title sponsor for its No. 2 racing series last year when Nationwide announced it will divert its efforts to the Sprint Cup Series in 2015. This is the second time NASCAR has had an open opportunity for a new sponsor. Anheuser-Busch was the first title sponsor from 1982 – 2007 following Nationwide from 2008 – 2014. The existing agreement with Nationwide ends this season.
There is great interest from many Fortune 500 companies according to Jim O’ Connell, but the winner was publicly released this week in Charlotte, North Carolina. The new partner is Comcast’s XFINITY. The partnership begins January 1, 2015 with a 10-year agreement. The series name will change from the Nationwide Series to the XFINITY Series.
The Nationwide series served to launch careers for current Sprint Cup superstars like Matt Kenseth and Dale Earnhardt. The series was originally a spin-off of the Sportsman Series with the event called the Busch Grand National tour and has grown into a circuit. The Nationwide Series now has 25 races every year, and averages 1.8 million viewers. Each week, the series is frequently the second-most watched motorsports event on television.
NASCAR is excited about the new joint venture because XFINITY brand with Comcast has innovative technology to bring to the sport. XFINITY is a division of Comcast with cable and broadband that provides high-speed Internet, video, and phone service to suburban customers.
Last year, NASCAR struck a new multi-billion-dollar television deal to begin in 2015 that would broadcast its No. 2 series on Fox Sports 1 and NBC. Thus it is no surprise Comcast owns NBC and NBC Sports Network, which will strengthen televised NASCAR events. The alignment has already granted broadcast of the final 20 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events next season. XFINITY Series, the new name for the final 19 races will also be featured.
Overall, it’s a win-win-win for Nationwide, NASCAR, and Comcast. Comcast benefits by having NASCAR as a place to showcase their video, Internet products and enhance at home fan experience with a special focus on millenials. Nationwide continues to be involved in motorsports and will sponsor Sprint Cup Series driver Dale Earnhardt for the next three years. Finally NASCAR has a direct link to broadcast their events and reinforce viewership following.
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