In a historic shift for the sport, beginning in 2020, NASCARâs premier series will be known as the NASCAR Cup Series and will feature four cornerstone brands as Premier Partners â Busch Beer, Coca-Cola, GEICO, and Xfinity.
In addition to the establishment of the Premier Partner positions, this significant shift will provide many strategic benefits to the industry, including greater activation opportunities for brands across the sport. NASCARâs inaugural grouping of Premier Partners will play a key role in consumer marketing and fan development initiatives moving forward.
âThis has been a monumental year for our sport, one highlighted by significant changes in our business model to ensure long-term viability and growth,â said NASCAR President Steve Phelps. âAs we begin this new chapter, we are joined by four incredible brands with deep-rooted histories across all levels of our sport. We are honored to have this elite group represent our NASCAR Cup Series for years to come.â
The new model includes premium assets for each Premier Partner to engage the most brand-loyal fans in sports throughout the entire season. Premier Partners will collectively own a presence connected to the NASCAR Cup Series Championship Race and NASCAR All-Star Race.
Daryl Wolfe, NASCAR executive vice president and chief sales and operations officer, said, âThis new model will provide our Premier Partners with a heightened level of integration and visibility across all aspects of our sport. 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.â
Busch Beer returned as a NASCAR Official Partner in 2018. The deal provided the beer brand exclusive sponsorship of the Busch Pole Award, a position it will continue to maintain throughout its Premier Partnership. Additionally, Busch Beer will sponsor a NASCAR Cup Series event in 2020.
Nick Kelly, vice president partnerships, beer category and community for Anheuser-Busch, said, âWe are continuing to evolve our presence in NASCAR because we have a significant connection to its fans and believe in the future of the sport.â
Anheuser-Buschâs history in NASCAR dates back decades to 1978, when it sponsored the Busch Pole Award. Additionally, Busch Beer was the âOfficial Beer of NASCARâ from 1988 through 1997. Beginning in 1998, Anheuser-Busch sponsored the Bud Pole Award through its Budweiser brand, which also became the âOfficial Beer of NASCARâ through 2007.
Coca-Cola has been involved with stock car racing for 50 years and became a NASCAR Official Partner in 1998. As a Premier Partner, Coca-Cola will continue its sponsorship of both NASCAR Troops to the Track and NASCAR Salutes, the portion of the season focused on highlighting industry-wide appreciation of the U.S. Armed Forces. Coca-Cola will also continue to own race entitlements at Charlotte Motor Speedway and Daytona International Speedway. Additionally, Coca-Cola becomes the presenting sponsor of the NASCAR Cup Series regular season championship trophy.
John Mount, vice president, sports marketing for Coca-Cola North America, said, âCoca-Cola has a long history of successful collaboration with NASCAR and elevating our position to Premier Partner provides even more opportunity to connect fans to unforgettable experiences. Further integrating our two brands affords Coca-Cola the opportunity to build on our winning formula and contribute to the growth of the sport in the years ahead.â
The agreement further enhances Coca-Colaâs position as the âOfficial Soft Drink of NASCAR.â A signature part of the brandâs marketing strategy is the Coca-Cola Racing Family, an exclusive group of top drivers representing Coca-Cola who are featured across company advertising, promotions and packaging.
GEICOâs involvement in NASCAR spans more than a decade and the company became the âOfficial Insurance Provider of NASCARâ earlier this year. As one of the most fully integrated brands in the sport, GEICO will enhance its existing assets through its Premier Partnership and become the presenting partner of a season phase. GEICO has been a partner of Talladega Superspeedway with its GEICO 500 since 2014. The 2020 GEICO 500 is set for April 26.
Bill Brower, assistant vice president of marketing for GEICO, said, âOur affiliation with NASCAR has been successful over the past decade and expanding our role to Premier Partner was the next logical step.
âOur expanded presence will allow us to further engage the most brand-loyal fans in sports, bolster our effective marketing platform and play a prominent role in the sport in the years ahead.â
Comcastâs Xfinity brand entered the sport with a landmark 10-year partner agreement in 2015, positioned as the title sponsor of the NASCAR Xfinity Series and the âOfficial Entertainment Partner of NASCARâ. As a Premier Partner, Xfinity will maintain its Xfinity Series sponsorship, central to its NASCAR strategy. Xfinity will also sponsor the Championship 4 elimination race of the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs at Martinsville Speedway.
Matt Lederer, vice president of brand partnerships for Comcast, said, âThe first five years of our partnership with NASCAR has exceeded our expectations and the season-long national platform has provided increased exposure for the Xfinity brand and allowed us to demonstrate how our products and services enhance the way race fans enjoy this great sport.
âGiven the overwhelming fan reaction and how the industry has embraced the Xfinity brand, weâre thrilled to expand upon that commitment by becoming a Premier Partner of the NASCAR Cup Series, while also continuing to showcase the young stars of the NASCAR Xfinity Series.â
National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, Inc. (NASCAR) is the sanctioning body for the No. 1 form of motorsports in the United States and owner of 16 of the nationâs major motorsports entertainment facilities. NASCAR consists of three national series, three regional series, one local grassroots series, three international series, and Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA).
International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) governs the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, the premier U.S. sports car series.
NASCAR also owns Motor Racing Network, Racing Electronics, Americrown Service, and ONE DAYTONA. Based in Daytona Beach, FL, with offices in eight cities across North America, NASCAR sanctions more than 1,200 races in more than 30 U.S. states, Canada, Mexico, and Europe. For more information visit www.NASCAR.com.