Five Sponsors Who Might Become the New Nationwide Series Sponsor

By Michael Finley On Mon, Feb. 10, 2014

Nationwide Series

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.

Anheuser–Busch

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?

4. JEGS

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.

2. Coca-Cola

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.

1. Wal-Mart

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.

Michael Finley (10 Posts)

I am currently a student at the College of Southern Maryland, I plan to one day work at the NASCAR Hall of Fame.


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Displaying 6 Comments
Have Your Say
  1. J says:

    Agree with Russ. The ONLY reason that Sunoco or Goodyear would step in, and this very well could happen, will be when Nascar can’t find an idiot willing to commit the $30M a year they want to sponsor the series. I don’t remember specifically what they were demanding when Busch quit, but it wasn’t nearly that ridiculous and they had a hard time getting Nationwide.

  2. Kevin says:

    @Russ, Jeg’s is actually very much turning towards the Oval racing crowd and have stepped up their oval products ten-fold in the last 5 years. Matter of fact, they even began major sponsorship of the Championship Racing Association (CRA) first by sponsoring the CRA Jeg’s All Star Tour (presented by GM Performance Parts) and by becoming the sanctioning body’s co-sponsor (So it’s known now as the CRA presented by Jeg’s). Matter of fact, Jeg Cughlins son (i believe) Cody Coughlin runs the Jeg’s 1 car in the Jeg’s tour and the super series. Why they couldn’t be a sponsor is just ridiculous, i think they have what it takes to be an active part of NASCAR by sponsoring a series.

    Coca-Cola would be the most likely however, given they are almost the sole provider of Sof Drinks at most of the tracks and have long been a part of the sport.

  3. Ken says:

    I think it will be a auto parts chain (O’Reilly, Advance, NAPA, etc) or an oil (Mobil 1, Pennzoil, Quaker State, etc). I also think the price will be less than what Nationwide paid because of the loss of interest, drop in attendance and viewership of the series.

  4. Russ says:

    Doubt if any you named are legitimate candidates. Financial reasons alone would eliminate Best Buy. Jegs isnt geared toward the stock car crowd, while none of the other three need to get into that level of sponsorship.
    My guess would be another phone company such as T-Mobile, or one of its peers.

    • Nathan says:

      Obviously there is a no compete clause that would prevent another phone company to be a title sponsor. I do agree with the author that Wal-Mart would make since as a series sponsor. However, that would bring with it more negative publicity over their low wages and lack of benefits for full time employees.

      • Russ says:

        Nathan
        Walmart is to at least some degree beginning to feel the heat of competition. Its efforts at moving upscale have been less than successful, while it is losing share at the lower end to the Dollar stores and similar competition. At the same time they dont need to pay Nascars price for advertising.

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