With Nationwide Insurance ending its sponsorship of NASCAR’s No. 2 national series following the 2014 season, the sanctioning body is hunting for a new backer that can kick in $12-$15 million for title sponsorship of the category.
Additionally, the Sports Business Journal reports that NASCAR is also telling potential prospects that they also expect a 10-year deal that includes a media commitment of more than $10 million as well as an activation commitment of more than $10 million. Altogether, that puts the annual price tag at more than $30 million.
Post-2014, Nationwide will focus its NASCAR efforts on Sprint Cup while maintaining its status as the series’ official insurance company through 2017. The company sponsored Ricky Stenhouse Jr. in several Cup events this past season.
Per the SBJ, NASCAR plans to approach companies that were in the mix for the NNS’ title sponsorship when it was last available in 2007. Among that group was Subway (a prominent sponsor of Cup driver Carl Edwards and Roush Fenway Racing’s No. 99 team), which was on the verge of striking a deal for the sponsorship but then decided to back out.
The new sponsor’s debut in 2015 would also coincide with a new TV deal that features the NBC Sports Group. The Group will carry the final 19 NNS races of the season, with 15 of those races on NBCSN and the remaining four on NBC.
Lewis Hamilton believes that this weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will be remembered as the last race with good-looking Formula 1 cars ahead of the introduction of the ‘Halo’ cockpit protection for next year.
Officials from the FIA and F1 Strategy Group confirmed earlier this year that the Halo would be fitted to all cars from the 2018 season in a bid to improve safety standards, with the deaths of Justin Wilson and Jules Bianchi putting head protection high on the agenda for the series’ chiefs.
Hamilton has long made his opposition to the Halo clear, believing it will ruin the look of F1 cars, and echoed his thoughts ahead of the final Halo-less race in Abu Dhabi this weekend.
“It’s the last year of looking good I think in the cars. It’s the last race where the cars will look good,” Hamilton said.
“I think next year, it’s all downhill from there in terms of how they look.
“But safety will go up at least, and maybe it could be successful in some way.”
Hamilton’s F1 title rival Sebastian Vettel was less bothered about the change, believing the field will adjust and move on.
“The cars will look different next year. Everything I’ve seen so far looks different, but on the other hand it is something we all get used to,” Vettel said.
“But no doubt the cars look better now, but we’ll get used to it, and we’ll work on the aesthetics so it can be better. It is less of a big deal.”
Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo shared Vettel’s view, saying: “I don’t think it’s gonna be as dramatic as most people make it out to be.”