New title sponsor will get a bargain
NASCAR is expected to have a tough time squeezing optimum value out of its next Cup Series sponsor now that Sprint is moving on after this season.
CSM Sport & Entertainment CEO Zak Brown told USA Today Sports that the deal will not be as lucrative as the previous one, given the current market climate. Nextel signed a 10-year deal reportedly worth $750 million to become title sponsor beginning in 2004. Sprint then signed a t hree- year extension through the end of this season, but that came at a reduced rate of about $50 million in rights and activation fees, according to SportsBusiness Daily.
So what price will be right in 2017? The answer should come within the next month with an expected announcement.
“It all has to be at the right level and the right price,” KimMeesters, general manager of t he NASCAR Sprint Cup sponsorship, told USA Today Sports. “It all has to be customized. That’s why it takes so long to put this kind of deal together.” Bowyer’s outlook: Clint Bowyer is locked and ready to go next season, replacing Tony Stewart at Stewart-Haas Racing.
It’s a fair trade: One sarcastic NASCAR star for another.
“I think it would be a perfect role for me to work into,” Bowyer said. “Just a great outfit over there; everybody from the top to the bottom. I’ve worked with Kevin [ Harvick] for many years. I’m looking forward to Kurt [ Busch]. Kurt is the one that I’ve never really known a lot about. Danica [ Patrick], Sprint’s sponsorship of the Cup Series ends after this season. Who will be next? I’m closer to her than probably some of the others, so I’m just looking forward to it.
“It’s going to be a neat atmosphere, and something that 10 years into this thing, one of the best opportunities ever is at your doorstep, it’s pretty cool.” Keselowski’s task: An accident last week in Kansas turned Brad Keselowski into a Chase bubble boy. He most likely will have to win this weekend in Talladega to advance. He trails points leader Jimmie Johnson by 44 points, although Keselowski only needs to squeeze into the top eight to stay in postseason contention. But he is seven points below the cutoff line.
One thing to consider: Keselowski is the winner of the last two restrictor-plate races (May at Talladega, and July at Daytona).
“I don’t think it is a must-win situation,” Keselowski said. “I am not worried about it. I am going to go there and bust my butt to try to win, but I don’t think it is a must-win yet.”