Report: Nascar teams boycott series meeting

Teams feel new revenue talks are not progressing as planned.
  • Teams want an increase on their current 25% revenue share
  • Revenue talks not due to start until later this year

Nascar teams have boycotted a meeting with series leaders as they feel new revenue talks are not progressing as planned, according to Sports Business Journal (SBJ).

Teams normally meet with senior Nascar officials on a quarterly basis, held in person in Charlotte, but this latest development represents a symbolic and escalatory boycott.

Last year, Hendrick Motorsports vice chairman Jeff Gordon, 23XI Racing investor Curtis Polk, Joe Gibbs Racing president Dave Alpern, and RFK Racing president Steve Newmark went public with concerns over the revenue model, with Polk describing it as “broken” and Newmark claiming that teams continue “to lose money” under the current structure.

Nascar’s broadcast rights are currently held jointly by Fox and NBC in a deal worth a reported US$8 billion which expires at the end of the 2024 season. When the new deal starts in 2025, teams want an increase on their current 25 per cent cut of the broadcast contract.

Nascar argues that teams wind up with closer to 40 per cent when taking into account other revenue streams. But, in terms of the overall revenue generated by Nascar, teams are estimated to receive just seven per cent.

According to Newmark, sponsorship accounts for between 60 to 80 per cent of a Nascar team’s overall revenue. This is substantially more than other properties like Major League Baseball’s (MLB) eight to 12 per cent, the National Hockey League’s (NHL) 17 to 18 per cent, and English soccer’s Premier League’s 26 to 27 per cent.

The Race Team Alliance (RTA), the organisation that represents the Nascar teams, has even enlisted the help of Los Angeles-headquartered Wasserman ahead of the next TV deal to better understand the broader media landscape and where it fits into it.

While the agenda of the boycotted meeting did not include talks on revenue, making the absence of the teams largely symbolic, it highlights the growing frustrations with the current situation.

Teams have previously made clear their desire for Nascar co-owners Jim France and Lesa France Kennedy to start attending these talks, but this is yet to come to fruition. Revenue talks were not due to start until later this year, so Nascar teams are clearly setting their stall out early to ensure their demands are heard.

In response to the boycott, Nascar told SBJ in a statement: ‘Nascar is committed to open and productive dialogue on a regular basis with all industry stakeholders. We remain committed to continuing discussions in the spirit of collaboration and with the shared goal of growing our sport for the benefit of all stakeholders.’

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