With Sprint’s decision to end its sponsorship of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at the conclusion of its current agreement in 2016, NASCAR has some major shoes to fill.
In addition to its sizable efforts in marketing and promotion of the series, Sprint has worked to make the sport more fan-friendly through adding more cell towers near tracks and projects such as the Fanview at-track scanner and the NASCAR Mobile app.
Its “Miss Sprint Cup” ambassador program has also been a social media smash, boasting more than 1 million likes on Facebook and more than 100,000 followers on Twitter.
All told, that’s a tough act to follow for the company that chooses to replace them in a couple of years. But in a statement released today, Texas Motor Speedway president/general manager Eddie Gossage promoted the Cup Series sponsorship as an “enormous opportunity.”
“Sprint has been a tremendous series sponsor for NASCAR’s top-tier Cup Series and official sponsor of Texas Motor Speedway since they came aboard in 2004,” Gossage said. “While the news is disappointing that Sprint will not renew with NASCAR when their contract expires at the close of the 2016 season, Texas Motor Speedway as well as the entire industry is extremely appreciative of how impactful Sprint’s sponsorship has been in helping the growth of the sport and we all look forward to the company doing the same over the final two years.
“Much like 2004, this is an enormous opportunity for a prospective sponsor to join one of the country’s most popular sports on its highest level. NASCAR has reached out in advance to industry people like myself to assist them in identifying a replacement title sponsor.”
Gossage closed his statement by saying that TMS encourages NASCAR “to find an active, supportive and long-term sponsor with broad consumer reach and minimal category conflict that proves beneficial to the entire industry in the future.”
Sprint has been the title sponsor of the Cup Series since 2004, but their departure from the sport had been a possibility since it underwent a leadership change this past summer.
Under new CEO Marcelo Claure, Sprint has been pushing hard to stop losing customers to its wireless rivals and also reduce its spending by a whopping $1.5 billion. Before today’s announcement, it had already cut 3,700 jobs company-wide, affecting 11 percent of its workforce.