In what is perhaps the biggest announcement this offseason so far, telecommunications giant Sprint has informed NASCAR that the corporation will not be extending its title sponsorship of the sport’s premiere series after the conclusion of the 2016 season. According to a release from Sprint, the company cites a need to “focus more directly on its core business priorities.”
“We are proud of our association with NASCAR’s top series but have made the decision not to extend our sponsorship beyond the next two years. As we look to the future, Sprint is focused on investing in maintaining a competitive edge and providing consumers with the best value in wireless,” Sprint vice president of marketing Steve Gaffney said. “Sprint has long benefitted from the unprecedented level of brand integration available in NASCAR, and the passionate fan base that is the most loyal in sports. Without question, the NASCAR sponsorship property has been a valuable investment for us and will be for our successor.”
Known first as the NEXTEL Cup, then Sprint Cup after a buyout of Nextel, the series has flourished together with Sprint. The relationship between Sprint and NASCAR began back in 2004 after longtime series partner, Winston ended their title sponsorship deal. Since then Sprint has helped to transform the sport into the 21st century and brought NASCAR racing to millions of new fans, and a new level globally, including introducing new technology to fans and teams alike.
In a statement released by NASCAR, senior vice president and chief communications officer Brett Jewkes spoke candidly about the Sprint relationship.
“NASCAR and Sprint have enjoyed a long and productive partnership that has returned significant value to both parties. We understand significant changes within Sprint and the highly competitive business environment it is in has led to a decision not to extend its Cup Series entitlement position following the 2016 season. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series is a very unique, premium sports marketing platform with strong momentum, so we are very confident of moving forward in 2017 with an outstanding new partner. In the meantime, we look forward to Sprint’s partnership on the best racing series in the world for the next two seasons,”
Frontstretch.com will have further details on this story as they become available.