Miles bullish on Verizon IndyCar awareness plans

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Less is more for Verizon Wireless as a company, according to Hulman & Co. CEO Mark Miles.

As Verizon has scaled back its sports sponsorships to just the National Football League and now title sponsor of the Verizon IndyCar Series, there is more room for growth, activation and promotion for both.

The NFL may be the sports behemoth, but IndyCar appeals to Verizon from a technology standpoint. Miles explained it during an appearance on Inside Indiana Business with Gerry Dick, in an interview with reporter Bill Brenner.

“They’ve been on a strategy where they’ve reduced their sports sponsorships, but increased involvement as title sponsor with us,” Miles said.

“Why? They have two principal sponsorships, NFL and IndyCar. They are determined to spread the message that they are a technology company, not just a telecommunications company.”

Verizon already released a teaser ad to go along with the entitlement partnership announcement. Now, Miles said the ad budget will be huge to moving IndyCar’s story forward.

“When they looked at our sport, they see so many moving parts, and want to improve the operations,” he said. “Their plans for that are terrific, and it will make a difference. They have a $1.2 billion advertising budget. They don’t want to keep it a secret.”

Other topics of the interview included more of his thoughts on expanding the month of May and discussing the various concert lineups as well. You can see a link to the full interview here.

The series kicks off this Sunday at St. Petersburg, with the first race on NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra Long Beach on April 13.

Andretti United team names drivers for inaugural Extreme E season

Extreme E drivers Andretti
Extreme E
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The Extreme E team formed by Andretti Autosport and United Autosports named Catie Munnings and Timmy Hansen as its drivers Monday for the series’ inaugural 2021 season.

Munnings is a successful veteran of rally series. Hansen is a past winner and champion in the World Rallycross Championship.

They both will race in the environmentally conscious electric SUV series that will hold events in five areas around the world that are threatened by climate change. Chip Ganassi Racing and six-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton also are fielding cars in Extreme E, which will feature male and female co-drivers on every team.

Catie Munnings

“I’m so excited to join Andretti United Extreme E,” Munnings said in a release. ““I was really intrigued when I first heard about Extreme E, I just knew I had to be involved. The male / female racing partnership is a fantastic and exciting new concept. The season has incredible locations and the racing will be very exciting. It will be a new challenge for the teams and drivers, and I’m so thrilled to be working with such a strong team.

“The championship is a really innovative concept, it’s combining motorsport and science and will produce an important legacy in each race location. Bringing the platform that motorsport has in line with the awareness that the planet needs right now is awesome and a really important message.”

Timmy Hansen

Said Hansen: “Going into the Extreme E will be a new chapter in my career, one that I am extremely excited about. It is something brand new, not only for me, but the whole of motorsport. The format is something

we’ve never seen before. I’m also delighted to be able to carry the message of something bigger – talking about the environment and doing something good for the world – that’s something that really drives me. It’s going to be a big adventure in life to see these locations and I’m going to do my best in carrying this responsibility and hopefully making people aware of the challenges we have in the world, together with our passion for racing.”