Monster Energy to sponsor NASCAR’s premier series

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NASCAR announced that Monster Energy has signed a multi-year agreement to be the entitlement sponsor of what had been formerly known as the Sprint Cup Series. Monster Energy also will have naming rights to the All-Star Race and be the official energy drink of the sport.

What the series will be called was not revealed. NASCAR Chairman Brian France said in Thursday’s press conference in Las Vegas that the name will be revealed later.

Monster Energy officialy becomes the series sponsor Jan. 1, 2017.

“Motorsports is their DNA,” France said. “You’re going to see that at the tracks. They are going to do things that are going to be fun, they’re going to be impactful and exciting.”

“We’re very confident this is the right partner for us.”

Details of the deal were not disclosed.

This becomes the sixth different name for NASCAR’s premier series. It started as the Strictly Stock Series in 1949. That name changed to the Grand National Series in 1950. The name remained until Winston became the series sponsor in 1971 and the series was referred to as the Winston Cup Series through 2003.

The series name changed to the Nextel Cup Series in 2004. That name remained until 2008 when the series was called the Sprint Cup Series after Sprint bought Nextel.

Monster Energy is not new to sports or even racing. It sponsors such athletes as Ronda Rousey, Conor McGregor, Ricky Carmichael, Jeremy McGrath, Lewis Hamilton, Formula 1 champion Nico Rosberg and former NASCAR champions Kurt and Kyle Busch.

Monster Energy is the official drink of the UFC. Monster Energy sponsors numerous MotoGP events and also sponsors Brittany Force’s dragster in NHRA.

Monster Beverages, which owns Monster Energy drinks, reported that gross sales through Sept. 30, 2016, increased 11 percent to $2.6 billion from the same period in 2015. The company launched Monster Energy drinks in China in September and Turkey in October.

Monster Beverages also reported that net income for the first nine months of 2016 was $539.7 million, compared with $408.0 million in the same period last year.

In a conference call with industry analysts on Nov. 3, Hilton Schlosberg, vice chairman and president of Monster Beverage Corp., reported that U.S. sales increased 9.8 percent in October.