Skip to content

Sprint set to replace CEO; NASCAR title sponsor status TBD beyond 2016

Aug 6, 2014, 9:59 AM EST

Sprint Cup trophy

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.

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.

Latest Posts
  1. Barcelona F1 2nd Test Paddock Notebook – Thursday

    Feb 26, 2015, 4:00 PM EST

    Kvyat 262 Getty Images

    Massa flourishes, McLaren and Mercedes flounder, and Ferrari goes all 50 Shades of Rosso Corsa…

  2. Massa: Williams improving, but still trailing Mercedes

    Feb 26, 2015, 3:00 PM EST

    AUTO-F1-ESP-TEST-WILLIAMS Getty Images

    Brazilian driver still believes that Mercedes has the best car in F1 this year.

  3. Hamilton loses afternoon running due to MGU-K failure

    Feb 26, 2015, 2:00 PM EST

    Hamilton 262a Getty Images

    Briton still manages to finish third on Thursday, but is limited to just 48 laps following the power unit issue.

  4. Sainz Jr. pleased with Toro Rosso upgrades in final test

    Feb 26, 2015, 1:45 PM EST

    AUTO-PRIX-F1-ESP-TEST Getty Images

    F1 rookie happy with the final raft of updates on the STR10 ahead of the first race of the year in Australia.

  5. Carmen Jorda joins Lotus F1 Team as development driver

    Feb 26, 2015, 1:00 PM EST

    © Lotus F1 Team © Lotus F1 Team

    Spanish racer will get a chance to test the E23 Hybrid out on track at least once in 2015.

  6. Massa fastest for Williams as final F1 pre-season test begins

    Feb 26, 2015, 12:01 PM EST

    Massa 262 Getty Images

    Brazilian driver posts the fastest time of testing so far; underpins pace with mighty haul of laps.

  7. Gutierrez excited by possibility of Mexican GP practice run-out

    Feb 26, 2015, 11:00 AM EST

    Ferrari Filming Day Getty Images

    Ferrari reserve driver speaks after completing his first running in the new SF15-T at a filming day in Barcelona.

  8. Hydraulic leak sidelines Button and McLaren once again in Barcelona

    Feb 26, 2015, 10:00 AM EST

    F1 Testing In Barcelona - Day One Getty Images

    More woe for McLaren on day one of the final F1 pre-season test in Barcelona.

  9. Webber: Vettel needed fresh motivation in F1

    Feb 26, 2015, 9:00 AM EST

    Ferrari Filming Day Getty Images

    Ex-Red Bull driver believes that Vettel will be rejuvenated following his move to Ferrari for 2015.

  10. Hulkenberg to debut new Force India on Friday afternoon

    Feb 26, 2015, 8:15 AM EST

    Hulkenberg 262 Getty Images

    The VJM08 will finally make its on-track debut with three days to go in winter testing.

  11. Ron Dennis clears up Alonso crash rumors; confirms he was briefly knocked unconscious but was not concussed

    Feb 26, 2015, 7:27 AM EST

    Alonso 262 Getty Images

    McLaren CEO meets with the media to quash incorrect reports surrounding Alonso’s accident in testing.

  12. DiZinno: The dilemma for Justin Wilson and others, is teams as much as budget

    Feb 25, 2015, 5:13 PM EST

    Shell And Pennzoil Grand Prix Of Houston Getty Images

    Justin Wilson’s offseason plight isn’t only budget-related, but due to a reduced number of available opportunities in IndyCar.

  13. American Brad Hollinger increases stake in Williams up to 10 percent

    Feb 25, 2015, 2:45 PM EST

    Felipe Massa, Valtteri Bottas AP

    Brad Hollinger’s investment in Williams’ ownership moves from 5 to 10 percent.

  14. F1: Lineups thus far for final Barcelona test

    Feb 25, 2015, 2:21 PM EST

    F1 Testing In Barcelona - Day Two Getty Images

    Lineups and running order ahead of this week’s Barcelona test.

  15. Szafnauer: First test focused on tires, Wehrlein evaluation

    Feb 25, 2015, 11:27 AM EST

    PascalFI Getty Images

    What Force India couldn’t gain in car evaluation it could gain in 2015 tire and different driver evaluation last week in Barcelona.

  16. It’s coming March 14: First F1 on NBC promo of the year teases Melbourne (VIDEO)

    Feb 25, 2015, 10:15 AM EST

    Australian F1 Grand Prix - Practice Getty Images

    The Melbourne season opener is a little more than two weeks away.

  17. McLaren confirms Alonso leaves hospital, and is out for final test

    Feb 25, 2015, 8:52 AM EST

    AUTO-F1-ESP-TEST-MCLAREN Getty Images

    Fernando Alonso is out of the hospital after his testing crash last week.

  18. Porsche factory ace Nick Tandy confirmed with KCMG, to make for an even busier season

    Feb 25, 2015, 8:30 AM EST

    Patrick Pilet, Richard Lietz,  Nick Tandy AP

    Nick Tandy will embark on a program of LMP1, LMP2 and GT Le Mans in 2015, with KCMG confirmation in WEC.

  19. Force India officially reveals new VJM08, plans Friday track debut

    Feb 25, 2015, 8:22 AM EST

    Photo: Force India Photo: Force India

    Force India confirms Friday car debut for the new VJM08.

  20. Manor targets Melbourne appearance; announces Will Stevens as first driver

    Feb 25, 2015, 8:10 AM EST

    Motor Racing - Formula One World Championship - Japanese Grand Prix - Preparation Day - Suzuka, Japan

    Manor seeks to make Melbourne race appearance and confirms its first driver.