NASHVILLE, Tenn -- NASCAR’s premier series will be rebranded the NASCAR Cup Series for 2020 with four “Premier Partners” coming aboard.
Long-time supporters Busch Beer, Coca-Cola, Geico and Xfinity have signed on as the sport’s cornerstone brands.
NASCAR’s hope is that its enhanced partnerships will help grow the sport through consumer marketing and fan development initiatives over the next three to five years.
“When you think about new fans, I mean, tenured fans is one thing, they understand our sport,” said NASCAR vice president Daryl Wolfe. “But for new fans that come in, what is the Sprint Cup Series? What is the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series?
“We're leading with our brand, the brand 'us', the NASCAR Cup Series, who we think from a fan development opportunity and fan engagement opportunities, it's a big plus for us going forward.”
NASCAR selection process spanned the last year as the sanctioning body elected to recruit companies with deep-seated ties to the sport and its community. Wolfe said NASCAR was very selective in the brands chosen for the program.
“The four brands behind us are blue chip companies by any measurement, right? They're also companies that understand our sport,” Wolfe added. “They're not new to our sport. We intentionally did that.
“We wanted to go to companies that already had an investment across multiple stakeholders in the sport, understood our sport, understood how to activate around or sport. Intentionally, we went to the four companies behind us.”
Coca-Cola, the longest-running sponsor in the group, started its activation program with the sport as an official partner in 1998.
“Coca-Cola has a long history of successful collaboration with NASCAR and elevating our position to Premier Partner provides even more opportunity to connect fans to unforgettable experiences,” said John Mount, vice president, sports marketing, Coca-Cola North America.
“Further integrating our two brands affords Coca-Cola the opportunity to build on our winning formula and contribute to the growth of the sport in the years ahead.”
As for how the Premier Partner program will impact existing sponsors or the ability for teams to recruit potential supports in those categories moving forward, Wolfe says there will be no sunsetting of current deals with NASCAR and no restrictions on the teams.
“In previous times, for example, the telecommunications category or the energy drink category, that goes away, right?," Wolfe said. "We wanted to make sure it was easier for our teams to go out there, prospect and find brands. No restrictions on teams. In regards to the four premier partners, by the way, we're thrilled with these brands, right? They've been in our sport for a long time. They're invested in our sport emotionally, too. They care about the sport. They promote aggressively around the sport.
“We believe they're the right four partners for us going forward. But there's no restrictions in regards to what the teams in the garage area can go do. That was an important component of this.”