Reports: Nascar mulling over new sponsorship model

US stock car racing series to introduce five-tier partner structure after Monster’s exit.

Reports: Nascar mulling over new sponsorship model

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Nascar has started sharing provisional plans for its new sponsorship model with potential partners and industry stakeholders, according to reports in the US.

The model, which could be implemented in 2020, is expected to have five tiers, with a top tier that would accommodate four to six brands, which would benefit from exclusivity at the league, track and media-partner levels. The plans are still being developed and could yet be changed.

Nascar vaguely outlined the plans to the public in recent months, but sources close to ESPN have said that the organisation is now discussing the changes with potential sponsors and key executives from teams, tracks, agencies and media partners.

It has not been confirmed whether the US stock car racing series revealed pricing during its presentations, but ESPN says its sources envision top-tier slots going for around US$10 million each year. 

The news comes ahead of title sponsor Monster Energy’s anticipated departure from Nascar at the end of next season. The energy drink brand renewed its deal for a further two years in April, but Nascar chief operating officer Steve Phelps admitted at the time that it is “highly unlikely” the partnership will continue beyond 2019.  

The plan now is to move away from one title sponsor and towards a tiered system like that employed by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), which would allow top-tier partners to acquire rights to top assets such as race title sponsorships and camera-visible signage, while lower-tier partners would likely receive less visible or valuable assets. It has not yet been finalised how Nascar will divide its existing sponsors among the new tiered structure. 

The move comes at a time when Nascar has been struggling to attract new commercial partners, with its viewing figures and attendances declining in recent years. The hope ultimately is that the new model will enable the series to generate more sponsorship revenue from multiple levels of partners as opposed to having one title sponsor and subsequent series partners.