Aug 6, 2014, 9:59 AM EDT
One of the things in the business of racing you have to watch is when a company makes a change at the top, and what impact the new person will have on a company’s racing program.
Oftentimes, if the new person fails to match the enthusiasm of interest level of his or her predecessor, or deems the sponsorship isn’t worth the ROI, the sponsorship either runs to the end of its contract or ends early. This occurred in IndyCar last year as Phillips Van Heusen’s IZOD brand, under new management, slowly decreased its involvement before announcing – in what was no real surprise – it was withdrawing as a title sponsor at the end of the 2013 season.
So with the news Wednesday that Sprint is making a change at the top – CEO Dan Hesse will be replaced by billionaire entrepreneur Marcelo Claure, per media reports – the status of Sprint in the business world is something NASCAR will need to watch for at least the next two years.
Per The Wall Street Journal, a Sprint board meeting Tuesday determined the company would end its pursuit of T-Mobile, which after Sprint (third) is the fourth largest telecom company behind leaders Verizon and AT&T. Those two combining did not please regulators, the WSJ said.
The report has one other key piece of news that’s NASCAR-related: Sprint, as a company, has lost money every year since 2007. That 2007 season marked the end of Nextel’s title sponsorship before Sprint, the new parent company after it took over Nextel, was named starting with the 2008 season.
Per Sporting News’ Bob Pockrass, Sprint’s contract as NASCAR Cup title sponsor runs through 2016, and roughly a year from now, there will be questions as to whether this will be extended or whether NASCAR’s marquee series will need to begin a new search.
Thru 2016. Impact TBD. Must decide by some pt next yr MT @Nascar_MT: how long is sprints contact as title sponsor? Any impact with new CEO?
— Bob Pockrass (@bobpockrass) August 6, 2014
Sprint/Nextel has been the Cup Series’ title sponsor since 2004, when it replaced R.J. Reynolds and Winston – a partnership that dated to the 1970s.
The Nationwide Series has not yet named a title sponsor to replace Nationwide; that sponsorship ends at the end of this season.
- Rosberg tops FP1 at Silverstone after gearbox change 0
- WATCH LIVE: FP1 for the British Grand Prix on Live Extra from 5am ET 0
- NHRA: Tony Pedregon hopes to keep momentum going in Norwalk 0
- NHRA: New president Peter Clifford full of ideas to get drag racing back on-track 2
- Ryan Briscoe making most of filling in for James Hinchcliffe 0
- F1 Strategy Group pushing through technical revolution for 2017, other changes planned as early as Belgian GP 3
- 2015 British Grand Prix Preview 1