Five Sponsors Who Might Become the New Nationwide Series Sponsor
By Michael Finley On Mon, Feb. 10, 2014
Last year, Nationwide announced they were not going to be sponsoring the Nationwide series after this season. This leaves a pretty big void for NASCAR, and it’s going to be interesting to watch how negotiations for the new title sponsor go. Now that the 10 year TV contracts have been signed and the new Chase format has been unveiled, I guarantee that the search for a new series sponsor is at the top of NASCAR’s priorities for this season.
Here’s a look at five sponsors that have a reasonable chance of sponsoring the series in 2015 and beyond. Note that most NASCAR sponsors have some sort of agreement with NASCAR itself (Like how Coca-Cola is the Official Soft Drink of NASCAR), and competitors (Like Pepsi) are thus locked out of negotiating for a series sponsorship (But not for a team sponsorship, like Pepsi’s long relationship with Hendrick Motorsports).
Before I start this list, here’s one that will not be happening. I’m putting it here because if I don’t there’s going to be a comment below about it.
Not happening because, like I said above, it would be competing with an existing NASCAR series sponsor, in this case the Coors Light Pole Award. It would be great if we had a Busch Series again, but the reality is that we aren’t.
Now, here they are:
5. Best Buy
This is kind of a wildcard here, with them leaving Roush and NASCAR for the 2014 season. But could this just be gearing up for a series sponsorship in 2015? Only thing really holding it back is that Best Buy is struggling to compete against Amazon, so it’s unknown if they could even afford series sponsorship. And if they can, would NASCAR take the chance they don’t fold for a 5-7 year sponsorship deal?
A little birdy (Or cone) on Twitter reported last year that the new Dale Earnhardt Jr. sponsor (He was unsponsored for 10 races technically, although Time Warner eventually took those races) was JEGS, but whomever it was going to be, it ended up falling through. Is JEGS big enough to sponsor an entire series? Maybe not, but it would do wonders for their business (mail order auto parts).
3. Goodyear or Sunoco
I put both of these companies together because I think both have a pretty equal chance at sponsoring the series. Both brands are what I like to call “true sponsors”, in that race teams actually use their products on the track, this being tires and fuel respectively. The one thing holding these brands back has to be the facts that Sunoco is a regional brand and Goodyear would have gotten the sponsorship in 2007 if they wanted it. But there’s a chance either of these companies could go into national series sponsorship at any point.
Coca-Cola would be a great fit for the secondary series. Think the Anhesuser-Busch sponsorship, only more family friendly and a better fit for today’s NASCAR. Not every race fan can use Sprint, be covered by Nationwide, or afford an RV. But everybody, moreso than Busch or Winston, can enjoy a Coke. And it doesn’t even have to be the main Coke brand. Coca-Cola Diet Series? Coca-Cola Zero Series? How about the NASCAR Sprite Series? All very good ideas.
I never got why people think Wal-Mart should get into NASCAR team sponsorship. Jeff Gordon was rumored to get them as a sponsor before AARP jumped aboard, and they ran Turner-Scott Motorsport’s lone Cup series start (On the #50 Chevy with Bill Elliott behind the wheel) in 2012. But the thing is, with Wal-Mart, if you were sponsor a Kyle Busch for instance, you wouldn’t lose many customers, but you’d lose a few. With a series sponsorship however, Wal-Mart could appeal to everybody. And, like Winston, the people in the stands are their customers. That’s the real reason why this would work.