By Barry Janoff
September 3, 2014: Calling it an "historic agreement, Nascar today unveiled a ten-year deal that makes Comcast’s Xfinity division the title sponsor of what is currently the Nationwide Series.
The alliance begins in 2015 and runs through the 2024 season. The agreement also makes Xfinity an official Nascar partner in the multichannel video programming distributor (MVPD) and broadband ISP categories.
Although financial terms were not disclosed, the pact was put at upward of $200 million by industry analysts.
Xfinity becomes just the third title sponsor in the history of the series. Anheuser-Busch owned the spot for 26 years (1982-2007) and Nationwide Insurance for the past seven years.
Beginning in 2015, Nationwide Insurance is moving its marketing programs to become a Nascar team sponsor while remaining the official auto, home, life and business insurance partner of Nascar.
According to Nascar, this would be is the longest entitlement sponsorship agreement in this series’ history.
Comcast said it would use the alliance to support its expanding role in sports as well as Xfinity's own growth, targeting Nascar's "large, highly engaged and technology-connected television audience."
“Technology lives at the heart of Nascar, just as it does for Xfinity,” Dave Watson, evp and COO for Comcast Cable, said during a media event, held in the Nascar Hall of Fame in Charlotte, NC. “Nascar provides an exciting environment in which to showcase our video and Internet products and we look forward to further enhancing the fan experience at home, at the track and on the go for years to come.”
Comcast is expected to support the union with multi-platform marketing and activations, although specific details were not addressed.
The deal also coincides with a new TV pact with NBC and an extension with Fox to air both Sprint Cup races and the renamed Xfinity Series from 2015-2024.
Xfinity is Comcast’s residential service brand and according to the company is the nation’s "largest video and high-speed Internet provider." Comcast said that it has increased Internet speeds for existing customers 13 times in 12 years. It recently introduced Xfinity on the X1 Entertainment Operating System and also offers Xfinity On Demand.
“We’re proud to welcome Xfinity to the [our] community as title sponsor of the Nascar Xfinity Series for the next decade,” Brian France, chairman and CEO for Nascar said during the media event on Wednesday (Sept. 3). “Nascar and Xfinity are each leader brands with much in common. Both are focused on innovation and have products built for speed. Together, we will work to take this series to new heights and elevate one of the most unique and powerful partnerships in all of sports.”
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