All I Want For Christmas Is A Title Sponsor
The 2016 NASCAR season is over. We have a 7 time champion. The banquet will be held soon. And there is no title sponsor yet for 2017. Sprint Cup is leaving as the major sponsor and there are speculations that Monster Energy drinks are in the running as well as Coca-Cola, Kroger (the grocery store chain), and PayPal. Nothing has been etched in stone yet which worries me. Are they going to wait until next year's Speed weeks before Daytona to announce the new major title sponsor?
According to the man with the key to the front office. chairman Brian France, NASCAR was on track to announce a new title sponsor "soon", give a week or two. That was in September. In October, NASCAR's Chief Operating Officer Brent Dewar said that the series was making "good progress" Is it a money thing? Because in 2004 when Sprint took over they inked a 750 million dollar, 10 year deal then extended it another 3 years at a reduced cost of only 50 million.
CEO of CSM Sport and Entertainment Zak Brown said the next deal struck will not be as lucrative, and that he was representing a "few real contenders" including "a couple" of companies he represents, including Budweiser, Castrol, Crown Royal and Farmers Insurance. He also stated that the sport should not rush into completing a deal for 2017, and that it would only cost NASCAR $40 million to go without one for a year. They can afford it.
According to a Motorsport.com article by Jim Utter, Monster Energy is in an advanced stage of negotiations with NASCAR. This would be just the 4th new sponsor since R.J. Reynolds began a 33 year run as top sponsor in 1971. One NASCAR partner, Lionel Collectibles, has had to go with a plain NASCAR logo on it's diecast cars they are getting ready for next year's Daytona 500.
NASCAR has known since December 2014 that Sprint was leaving the sport. So the vetting process has already taken 2 years, and still no signed deal from anyone. Let's hope they don't wait until after the new year, or there will be alot of worried drivers, sponsors, partners and employees that won't know how to fill in the blanks on their paperwork for 2017. All we want for Christmas, NASCAR, is a name.