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The NASCAR Cup Series signed a title sponsorship deal with Monster Energy back in 2017.
It marked a move from longtime title sponsor Sprint, which had been with the Cup Series since the Nextel days, back in 2004.
The Monster Energy deal would be valid until the 2018 season but was extended for another year.
Surprisingly, NASCAR turned down the energy drink company’s offer to sign another extension, valid through the 2020 season.
Instead, the Cup Series’ organization decided to move on with a previously planned move to a tiered sponsorship model.
This is a very interesting move, and one that represents a very significant shift in NASCAR’s tried and trusted business model.
The Cup Series hasn’t seen many changes to its title sponsors.
In fact, the top tier of stock car racing only had four different brands as the title sponsor.
Winston cigarettes was the title sponsor for more than 30 years, from 1971 until the end of the 2003 season.
Nextel came onboard for the 2004 season and remained as the series’ title sponsor until the end of 2007.
Following the Sprint and Nextel merger, the Cup Series underwent another rebranding, becoming the Sprint Cup Series for 2008.
The most recent change happened at the end of the 2016 season, with Monster Energy becoming the new title sponsor for 2017.
Landing these deals, however, has become increasingly difficult, as fewer and fewer companies are willing to commit to long-term sponsorship.
This trend was already noticeable among Cup Series teams as well, as some cars had to shift to the tiered model as well.
According to NASCAR, the new model will allow for more flexibility.
The Premier Partners will have many different opportunities to engage with fans and market their products.
For the new 2020 sponsorship model, the NASCAR Cup Series is elevating four of its sponsors to the Premier tier.
These brands are Busch, Coca-Cola, Xfinity, and GEICO.
Let’s take a brief look at each brand’s involvement with the series.
The beverage industry giant has been with NASCAR for a long time.
It has been the title sponsor for the Charlotte 600-mile race since 1985.
Coca-Cola also took over as the sponsor for the Daytona Summer race in 2008, promoting its Coke Zero brand.
As a Premier Partner, the company will present the trophy for the regular-season champion.
It will also retain the position as the official soft drink of NASCAR.
One of NASCAR’s oldest partners, Busch returned to the series in 2018 as the title sponsor for the Clash at Daytona.
The brewing company was the title sponsor for NASCAR’s second-tier series from 1984 until 2007 when it was replaced by Nationwide.
Busch’s return in 2018 also included a sponsorship deal for the Pole Award.
Xfinity took over as NASCAR’s second-tier series’ title sponsor in 2015, signing a massive ten-year deal to replace Nationwide.
The Comcast-owned brand will continue its commitment towards the second-tier series while expanding its involvement with the Cup.
NASCAR has also confirmed Xfinity as the title sponsor for the Martinsville Fall race, the last event before the Championship Four.
GEICO’s involvement with NASCAR dates back to 2008 when it first sponsored small operation Germain Racing.
It remains onboard the #13 car, which is now driven by Ty Dillon as a full-season entry.
Since 2014, GEICO has also been the title sponsor for the first Talladega race.
In 2018, the company expanded its involvement and became NASCAR’s official insurance provider.
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