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.
Brendon Hartley says scoring a point on his Formula 1 debut would be “a dream” after being resigned to last place on the grid for the United States Grand Prix following an engine penalty.
Porsche factory driver Hartley was drafted in by Toro Rosso to replace Pierre Gasly for the USGP when the Frenchman was ruled out due to clashing commitments in Super Formula.
Despite having not driven an F1 car since 2012, Hartley came within one-tenth of a second of making it through to Q2 on Saturday at the Circuit of The Americas, ultimately qualifying 18th.
“Obviously I’d love to be quicker but we knew we were starting at the back, so we put a lot of focus on long runs, getting the peak performance out of this Pirelli tire I didn’t get today,” Hartley told NBCSN after the race.
“In FP3 I had a good feeling. There’s a lot of quirky things to manage with these tires. Honestly I should be happy with how the weekend’s gone so far.”
The New Zealander will start last due to a 25-place grid penalty for changes made to his power unit ahead of practice on Friday, and is daring to dream of making the top 10 in his first race out of a sports car for more than five years.
“I don’t do the 24 hours completely alone!” Hartley joked. “It’s quick. It’s physical to drive. I’ll be happy to be done after an hour and a half.
“A point would be a dream starting from the back. If I can move forward and put a race together, I’ll be happy.”
The United States Grand Prix is live on NBCSN and the NBC Sports app from 2pm ET on Sunday.