US stock car racing series Nascar has ushered in its new tiered sponsorship model by announcing that Busch Beer, Coca-Cola, Geico, and Xfinity will be the premier partners of the renamed Nascar Cup Series.
Previously Nascar’s premier series had title sponsors, with Winston, Nextel, Sprint and most recently Monster Energy as the entitlement sponsors. But Nascar has decided to revamp its overall strategy with corporate partners as it looks to return to commercial relevance after a decade of decline, which has included a mass sponsorship exodus.
The premier partners will be prominently featured in multiple platforms across the sport, including integrations in broadcast, Nascar digital and social channels, event entitlements, in-market promotions, and at-track activations. The four companies will also have a presence in the championship race and the All-Star race.
Additionally, Busch Beer will sponsor a to-be-announced Nascar Cup Series event in 2020; Coca-Cola becomes the presenting sponsor of the Nascar Cup Series regular season championship trophy; Geico will become the presenting partner of a season phase; and Xfinity will sponsor the Championship 4 elimination race of the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs at Martinsville Speedway.
“This new model will provide our Premier Partners with a heightened level of integration and visibility across all aspects of our sport,” said Daryl Wolfe, Nascar’s executive vice president and chief sales and operations officer. “Each of these partners have demonstrated their commitment to our brand-loyal fan base and we are excited about how these brands will elevate the Nascar Cup Series.”
Last month, Nascar president Steve Phelps hailed the positive direction of the series, claiming that TV viewership is up four percent this year on domestic broadcast partners NBC and Fox.
Nascar is also poised to have a significantly different schedule in 2021 when the vast majority of contracts with track operators finish. Phelps said Nascar hopes to announce the 2021 schedule by April 1, 2020.
Meanwhile, Nascar has also stepped up its efforts in the direct-to-consumer streaming space by partnering with NBC Sports to launch TrackPass on subscription service NBC Sports Gold.