NASCAR recently announced that it was moving from its traditional one sponsor business model to one that will now feature “premier partners” for its Cup Series.
Busch Beer, Coca-Cola, Geico and Xfinity will become the first “premier partners” for will now be known going forward as the NASCAR Cup Series.
The sport has enjoyed many years of having one sponsor locked up beginning with R.J. Reynolds who sponsored the series for 33 years under the name of the Winston Cup Series. That sponsorship ended in 2003 and was followed by Nextel but the Nextel Cup Series was short lived as the company merged with Sprint and the name was changed to the Sprint Cup Series.
Three years ago Monster Energy took over as the title sponsor and the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series tenure ended when the 2019 season came to a close at Homestead-Miami last month.
Monster never gave the impression that it would become a long time sponsor like those that preceded it which left NASCAR having to rethink the way it was doing business at a time when sponsorship dollars were becoming harder and harder to come by across the sport.
Work began over a year ago on trying to identify companies that would fit in the new model of doing business and the four that emerged already had a presence in the sport.
Anheuser-Busch the parent company of Busch Beer has been involved in the sport since 1978 when it first sponsored the series’ pole award.
It became a NASCAR Official Partner in 2018 when it began sponsoring the Busch Pole Award. Busch Beer can also be found in the sport across the hood of Kevin Harvick’s Ford as it has been a long time sponsor of the Stewart-Haas Racing team.
Although it is yet to be announced the company will also be a title sponsor for a race on the 2020 schedule.
Coca-Cola became a NASCAR Official Sponsor in 1998 and has been involved with the sport in many different areas.
It sponsors the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway and the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway each year as well as being involved with the NASCAR Troops to the Track and NASCAR Salutes programs.
Beginning in 2020 it will also become the presenting sponsor of the regular season championship trophy.
Geico was already was recognized as the official insurance provider and this season will become a presenting sponsor of a season phase.
The company has also been involved in the sport as a sponsor for the Germain Racing No. 13 Camaro with driver Ty Dillon.
Xfinity has been involved with NASCAR ever since it signed a 10-year sponsorship deal in 2015 to become the title sponsor of the second-tier Xfinity Series.
This season it will also become the title sponsor for the elimination race at Martinsville Speedway that will set the four-driver field for the Championship 4.
All four companies will also benefit from having a presence at the championship race at Phoenix that will crown the series champion. The four will also be involved with the NASCAR All-Star Race held the week prior to the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte.
PIT NOTES: Chase Elliott was named the 2019 NMPA Most Popular Driver for the second consecutive year. Prior to Elliott’s first win in 2018, Dale Earnhardt Jr. “owned” the title for 15 consecutive years from 2002-2017. Chase’s father, Bill Elliott holds the all-time record for winning the award with 16. Ten of those titles came consecutively between 1991 and 2000. The award is given based entirely on fan voting.