Beer producer Anheuser-Busch had decided to switch its beer brand that is associated with NASCAR, beginning in 2016.
Sports Business Journal first reported the news.
Anheuser-Busch, a primary sponsor on Stewart-Haas Racing’s No. 4 Chevrolet driven by Kevin Harvick, will switch out its Budweiser brand with Busch.
Busch was the brand long associated with NASCAR, beginning in 1982 when it began sponsoring what is now the Xfinity Series. Busch left its role as a title sponsor in 2007, when it was replaced by Nationwide Insurance.
Lucas Herscovici, the vice president of consumer connections at Anheuser-Busch, released the following statement:
NASCAR continues to be a priority platform for our beer portfolio. We are committed to the sport of racing, the fans and the Stewart Haas Racing team we support – specifically the No. 4 car of Kevin Harvick. To that point, and given we evaluate all of our sports properties on an annual basis, we will be shifting our brand equity in Harvick’s car and team from Budweiser to our Busch beer portfolio for the 2016 NASCAR season. The Busch brand is well positioned for this partnership given the brand’s storied history with the sport. We have a lot of exciting plans in development with SHR for 2016 and will share those details once finalized.
The report says the reasoning behind the decision is “unclear,” but that sources said Anheuser-Busch “conducted a comprehensive reassessment of its NASCAR deals, some of which were up for renewal in coming years.” Those deals included the estimated $11 to $13 million invested annually into Harvick’s car and the title sponsor of the two, 150-mile qualifying races for the Daytona 500.
SBJ also reported the beer maker weighed the option of exiting NASCAR all together before deciding to switch brands.