DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. and PHILADELPHIA (SEPTEMBER 3, 2014) — NASCAR and Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) announced today a historic agreement that will make Comcast’s XFINITY brand the title sponsor of what is now known as the NASCAR Nationwide Series through 2024. The 10-year term matches the longest single agreement around title sponsorship of any NASCAR national series in history, and is the longest entitlement sponsorship agreement in this series’ history.
Beginning January 1, 2015, the property will be known as the NASCAR XFINITY Series. XFINITY will become only the third title sponsor in series history following Anheuser-Busch (26 years) and Nationwide Insurance (seven years). The agreement also makes XFINITY an Official NASCAR Partner in the multichannel video programming distributor (MVPD) and broadband ISP categories.
The announcement was made during an event at the NASCAR Hall of Fame – where the sport’s history is celebrated every day – and was the first series entitlement sponsorship ever announced at the venue.
XFINITY is Comcast’s residential service brand and is the nation’s largest video and high-speed Internet provider. The company has increased Internet speeds for existing customers 13 times in 12 years and recently introduced XFINITY on the X1 Entertainment Operating System. The company also offers XFINITY On Demand, the most robust video on demand platform in the world. Comcast serves business and residential customers in 39 states and Washington, D.C.
“We’re proud to welcome XFINITY to the NASCAR community as title sponsor of the NASCAR XFINITY Series for the next decade,” said Brian France, NASCAR Chairman & CEO. “NASCAR and XFINITY are each leader brands with much in common. Both are focused on innovation and have products built for speed. Together, we will work to take this series to new heights and elevate one of the most unique and powerful partnerships in all of sports.”
What will soon be known as the NASCAR XFINITY Series is the property where names are made and is like nothing else in major pro sports. It features the most talented young drivers regularly competing side-by-side against NASCAR’s biggest and brightest stars.
“Technology lives at the heart of NASCAR, just as it does for XFINITY,” said Dave Watson, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for Comcast Cable. “NASCAR provides an exciting environment in which to showcase our video and Internet products and we look forward to further enhancing the fan experience at home, at the track and on the go for years to come.”
The series also has a large, highly engaged and technology-connected television audience. It races in some of the nation’s largest markets – from Chicago to Los Angeles to Miami – and at the sport’s biggest and most iconic tracks – from Daytona International Speedway, Charlotte Motor Speedway and Atlanta Motor Speedway, to Talladega Superspeedway and Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
According to NASCAR Fan Engagement Tracker 2013 (commissioned by NASCAR and conducted by Toluna), NASCAR fans spend an average of four-and-a-half hours each week watching NASCAR on television and an additional two-and-a-half-hours each week following the sport on digital platforms.
XFINITY is among the premier sponsors in sports today and a robust sponsorship activation program is part of the new agreement with NASCAR, with aggressive planning already underway.
Comcast’s involvement with NASCAR is expanding rapidly. In addition to the NASCAR XFINITY Series announced today, Comcast’s NBC Sports unit will begin broadcasting NASCAR race events in July 2015.
After a successful seven-year run as series entitlement sponsor, Nationwide Insurance pivoted its marketing programs to become a NASCAR team sponsor next season. Nationwide also is the official auto, home, life and business insurance partner of NASCAR.
The NASCAR Nationwide Series will make its return to Richmond International Raceway for the Virginia529 College Savings 250 on September 5, and will be aired on ESPN2. The first race of the 2015 NASCAR XFINITY Series season, and of the new partnership, will be during Daytona Speedweeks on February 21, 2015, at the famed Daytona International Speedway.
Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton