By Barry Janoff
September 18, 2013: In its advertising campaign, insurance company Nationwide claims, "Nationwide is on your side."
The Columbus,Ohio-based company will remain on Nascar's side, but in a significantly different position.
Nationwide Insurance said that after the 2014 season, it would no longer be the title sponsor for Nascar's No. 2 series. The company has been the lead partner for the Nascar Nationwide Series since 2008 and is currently in the sixth year of a seven-year deal.
Nascar said that it would seek a new title sponsor for the 33-race series, all of which currently air on ESPN, ESPN 2 and sibling ABC. Broadcast coverage of the series will shift in 2015 to Fox (the first 14 races of the season) and NBC (the last 19 races) under recently signed deals.
As part of its role, Nationwide and Nascar have extended Nationwide’s position as the official auto, home, life and business insurance partner of the racing circuit through 2017. Under the new agreement, Nationwide also becomes the presenting sponsor of the Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award.
Nationwide said it plans to remain a major partner with Nascar but will shift its dollars into the Nascar Sprint Cup Series and also seek a driving team sponsorship deal. The company currently has a two-year, seven-race deal with Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
Drivers Danica Patrick and Dale Earnhardt Jr. appear in Nationwide commercials. The firm recently signed a deal with the NFL's Dallas Cowboys and also with defensive end DeMarcus Ware.
“The Nascar Nationwide Series is a great proving ground not only for drivers and crew members, but for sponsors too,” Matt Jauchius, CMO for Nationwide, said in a statement. “We’re proud of the success Nationwide Insurance has attained through our relationships with Nascar and the Nationwide Series. It’s a natural evolution for Nationwide Insurance to move our marketing investment to the Nascar Sprint Cup Series and we’ll continue to put tremendous effort behind all of our Nascar marketing platforms in the years to come.”
According to Steve Phelps, Nascar's CMO, “As a series entitlement sponsor and savvy marketer, Nationwide Insurance has been an ideal partner to our sport and we’re proud to have them continue to be part of our family of official Nascar partners. The company has been highly successful in using our sport as a platform to enhance its brand and drive its business and has stated publicly how much value they glean as a series sponsor."
Phelps said that Nationwide's plan to continue and expand ts investment in Nascar "is encouraging and speaks to the power of Nascar as a marketing platform.”
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