NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Voices from the Heartland: Simple Solutions for the New “Cingular” Logo Problem

It has often been said that I tend to see things a bit differently in comparison to most folks who call themselves normal. I do not consider that to be an insult, but more like a badge of honor, and it may, quite possibly, be the reason I like myself so much.

Take this continuing stupid lawsuit nonsense concerning Cingular/AT&T and NASCAR/Nextel for example. In a nutshell, it goes something like this (for those casual fans that are just tuning in):

In 2003, Nextel essentially “buys” NASCAR for the next 10 years (great, seven more years of this crap?!) to the tune of $700 million, creating the Nextel Cup we know today – with the option to “rebrand” once during the life of the contract.

The divine France family, citing their undying love and concern for the car owners, get Nextel to agree to let Cingular and Alltel remain as sponsors of the No. 31 and No. 12 cars, respectively. However, no other wireless companies are allowed to enter NASCAR during Nextel’s 10-year reign. Richard Childress and Roger Penske are summoned to Daytona for the annual “Ben Dover, Kiss Brian’s Feet to Show Your Gratitude” ritual ceremony that was started in 2003. (OK, I admit I made that last part up… but it wouldn’t surprise me one bit.)

In late 2004, Sprint and Nextel merge to become Sprint/Nextel. Rumors surrounding possible name changes for the Cup series start flying. (It’s finally announced in July ’07 that beginning in 2008, the series will be known as the NASCAR Sprint Cup.)

Sometime in 2006, during business dealings that are best not spoken about lest ye crave migraine headaches, AT&T acquires Cingular Wireless (actually re-acquires, it as they had previously sold it, yada, yada, yada, pass the Excedrin please), and hopes to put the AT&T “Globe” logo on the No. 31 car driven by Jeff Burton.

NASCAR/Nextel says, “No, you can’t do that. You already kissed Brian’s feet as a sign of loyalty and gratefulness, remember?” and a terrible court battle begins.

AT&T wins the initial battle, and is allowed to put their Globe logo on the car. Which now brings us to our present state.

Now, it has been my premise all along that NASCAR and Nextel, in engaging in this moronic fight with AT&T over the simple renaming of an existing product, is simply shooting themselves in the foot in the eyes of the people that Nextel wants most – you, the fan. Everyone knows, no matter what the logo is on the car, that Cingular is now owned by AT&T. That is a fact: a fact that even one guy with the lowest IQ out of all of NASCAR’s 75 million fans can figure out over the course of a couple beverages and maybe a picture or two.

NASCAR, of course, appealed AT&T’s initial victory – and just a couple of days ago, the appeals court ruled in favor of NASCAR. Now, the Globe logos must come off. But never fear, AT&T; this is where I step in and offer you my own special brand of genius that causes me to buy extra large hats.

Instead of renaming Cingular to AT&T Wireless, keep the name and the essential Cingular logo, but just make some subtle changes. We all know that Cingular is AT&T, and most of us 75 million fans support AT&T in this fight whether we use them or not. Remember, folks, NASCAR never said you couldn’t change the color or design of the existing logo!

The funniest thing to all this is, NASCAR/Sprint/Nextel thinks that the most recent court ruling in their favor is a victory. Blind to what’s happening, they are too stupid to realize that all the court has done is give them even more bullets to shoot themselves in the foot with! So, stick to your guns Sprint/Nextel. Even your own lawyers probably roll their eyes at this case, but trust me – they’re grinning ear to ear as they cash your checks.

Stay off the wall,

Jeff Meyer

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