Due to the highly competitive business environment it is facing, Sprint, a giant telecommunications company, announced this week that it would end NASCAR top-tier series title sponsorship after 2016. As disappointed as NASCAR might feel, the urgent task for them at the moment is to find another proper title sponsor for the sport in the next 18 months. Will they succeed?
Through the years of Sprint-NASCAR partnership, the wireless service provider indeed did a great job, including the creation of NASCAR Sprint Cup Mobile wireless application (2008) and the debut of Miss Sprint Cup (2007), an ambassador program that now has more than 1.5 million social media followers. Besides, the company will have spent around $750 million dollars in its ten-year contract with NASCAR, that is, $75 million a year, which is definitely a large amount of money. Therefore, it is truly hard for NASCAR to see their friend Sprint leave.
Moreover, the $75 million per year is only 2006 dollars, and as for a sport in flux, it becomes harder to get a long-term sponsorship as long as ten years. Thus, the potential benefactor for NASCAR title sponsorship might pay nearly $100 million annually and sigh a five-year deal at most. Thus, it seems more difficult for NASCAR to find a proper title sponsor after Sprint.
However, David Carter, executive director of the University of Southern California Sports Business Institute, insisted that NASCAR is a successful business model and he also stated that the series has “historically, very successfully serviced their corporate partners and they have proved there is value attached to NASCAR.”
What’s more, Mike Boykin, CEO of Bespoke Sports & Entertainment, said: “I’d say it’s very high that they’ll find a partner.”
And it is true that there are a number of options at hand, such as the fast service restaurant industry, packaged goods, and even companies from energy sections.
Boykin said: “It could be an energy company, a petroleum company, it could be technology.”
And he even hinted that NASCAR could even get a sponsor offshore.
“In the old days, you could narrow it down to U.S. companies. But right now, while I think the likelihood it will be a North American company, I wouldn’t rule out the other.”
Nevertheless, the determining factor for choosing a title sponsor is the benefactor’s ability to keep up the standard of the race and make the sport attracted to their fans. Thus, a megastore selling toilet water might not be a good option. At least, it is not cool enough. We hope that NASCAR will finally get us a gorgeous sponsor.