IndyCar CEO Mark Miles indicated this weekend that he does not expect Verizon to renew their deal as the title sponsor of the IndyCar Series. Miles said he hopes the relationship continues in some other form, likely team sponsorship or something along those lines. It begs a bigger question though, could Verizon be leaving IndyCar for NASCAR?
According to Adam Stern from SBJ, the current Verizon deal is worth around $10M a year for IndyCar as the title sponsor. On the flip side of that, NASCAR’s deal with Monster Energy is worth reportedly only $20M a year for over twice as many races and way more exposure. Verizon as the title sponsor of IndyCar caters to a pretty niche fan base and television audience. The Indianapolis 500 is phenomenal exposure but that’s only 2 weeks a season. A switch to NASCAR would be far more exposure.
Verizon To NASCAR?
Verizon could easily take their $10M to NASCAR in a number of forms. The first and most likely idea would be to serve as the primary sponsor for big-name team/driver. Kyle Larson said to say “sup?” $10M a year would cover nearly half a season for most teams. The exposure from being on a front-running driver’s car would far exceed the exposure of being the presenting sponsor of the IndyCar Series. That’s not a knock on IndyCar, at the moment open-wheel racing is undergoing a renaissance but it isn’t close to completion yet. It was reported earlier this season that Target passed Lowe’s in the amount of exposure in NASCAR. A reported $111M worth of exposure through Sonoma. That’s half a season and two wins for Larson at that point. Far more than IndyCar can give Verizon.
There is also the outside possibility that Verizon could become the next title sponsor of the NASCAR Cup series. There is growing speculation in NASCAR that Monster is unhappy with their activation in the sport. Monster has a ton of great ideas in terms of making the sport more open to outsiders and so far NASCAR hasn’t totally embraced the ideas. Monster has an option to pick up after the 2018 season, if they don’t we could see Verizon enter the sport again.
Get Wireless Carries Back To NASCAR
While Sprint was the title sponsor of NASCAR no other wireless communication providers could sponsor NASCAR teams. Hence why Alltel/Verizon and AT&T exited the sport. Now with Sprint gone there is an opportunity for all carriers to return to the sport and make an impact at the track. Everyone has noticed terrible cell service at tracks this season. If Verizon came in and brought mobile towers to each race they’d win over so many fans.
NASCAR fans are fickle creatures that don’t respond well to change or anything progressive. Verizon sponsoring the series would be welcomed. A return of a cell phone company, that’s normalcy for them. It’s weird they haven’t adopted Monster considering a large portion of the fanbase are customers.
Plus four major sponsors could bring a ton of money to the series if they all want to sponsor teams and not the series. That would be phenomenal news for everoyne involved. We’re talking about a lot of money being introduced to the sport. A war of cell phone carriers. Let’s go.
Verizon Could Just Be Cutting Costs
Maybe Verizon just doesn’t want to spend money on sponsorships anymore? They’re already the largest wireless carrier in the United States. What’s the point in promoting the brand to people that already have it?
It just seems like they could be aiming for more out of their money.
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