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Xfinity among four premier partners for NASCAR Cup Series in 2020

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Xfinity, Busch Beer, Coca-Cola and GEICO will serve as inaugural premier partners for the NASCAR Cup Series in 2020, the sanctioning body announced Thursday morning.

The new sponsorship model, which goes away from one company having its name solely tied to the Cup Series, includes premium assets for each premier partner to engage fans throughout the upcoming season. Premier partners will collectively own a presence connected to the NASCAR Cup Series Championship 4 race and All-Star Race. All four partners also will be prominently featured in multiple platforms across the sport, including integrations in broadcast, NASCAR digital and social channels, event entitlements, in-market promotions and at-track activations.

The contracts for all four companies were staggered three to five years to avoid them from all expiring at the same time. NASCAR also has stated that it’s goal is to have three to five premier partners. Even with these companies, it does not limit the categories teams can search for sponsors.

“This has been a monumental year for our sport, one highlighted by significant changes in our business model to ensure long-term viability and growth,” said Steve Phelps, NASCAR President, in a statement. “As we begin this new chapter, we are joined by four incredible brands with deep-rooted histories across all levels of our sport. We are honored to have this elite group represent our NASCAR Cup Series for years to come.”

Said Daryl Wolfe, NASCAR executive vice president and chief sales and operations officer, in a statement: “This new model will provide our premier partners with a heightened level of integration and visibility across all aspects of our sport. Each of these partners have demonstrated their commitment to our brand-loyal fan base and we are excited about how these brands will elevate the NASCAR Cup Series.”

Here is how each company’s involvement will be seen in 2020:

Xfinity

Comcast’s Xfinity brand entered the sport with a landmark 10-year partner agreement in 2015, positioned as the title sponsor of the NASCAR Xfinity Series and the “Official Entertainment Partner of NASCAR.” As a premier partner, Xfinity will maintain its Xfinity Series sponsorship. Xfinity also will sponsor the Championship 4 elimination race of the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series playoffs at Martinsville Speedway.

“The first five years of our partnership with NASCAR has exceeded our expectations and the season-long national platform has provided increased exposure for the Xfinity brand and allowed us to demonstrate how our products and services enhance the way race fans enjoy this great sport,” said Matt Lederer, vice president of brand partnerships, Comcast, in a statement. “Given the overwhelming fan reaction and how the industry has embraced the Xfinity brand, we’re thrilled to expand upon that commitment by becoming a premier partner of the NASCAR Cup Series, while also continuing to showcase the young stars of the NASCAR Xfinity Series.”

Throughout the past five years, Xfinity has elevated the series’ “Where Names Are Made” theme, supported the introduction of an elimination-style playoffs, reenergized the Dash 4 Cash program, reimagined how champions are celebrated at Xfinity Champion’s Day at Universal Orlando Resort and has honored charitable efforts within the industry through its prestigious Comcast Community Champion of the Year Award platform. Xfinity continues to change the way fans access the sport through its Xfinity Stream app, Xfinity X1 video and Xfinity xFi internet.

One of the changes is that the champions in the Cup, Xfinity and Truck Series each will go to Universal Orlando Resort for Xfinity Champion’s Day in November. Previously, only the Xfinity Series champion went there. And, Xfinity Philadelphia Takeover in May will continue to be an integral part of the Xfinity NASCAR partnership, along with the other programs Xfinity does.

Busch Beer

Busch Beer returned as a NASCAR official partner in 2018. The deal provided the beer brand exclusive sponsorship of the Busch Pole Award, a position it will continue with throughout its premier partnership. Busch Beer also will sponsor a NASCAR Cup Series event in 2020.

 “We are continuing to evolve our presence in NASCAR because we have a significant connection to its fans and believe in the future of the sport,” said Nick Kelly, vice president partnerships, beer category and community, Anheuser-Busch, in a statement. “The premier partner position strengthens our deep-rooted history in the sport and will provide fans with even more opportunities to enjoy a crisp, cold Busch Beer on race day.”

Anheuser-Busch’s history in NASCAR dates back to 1978, when it sponsored the Busch Pole Award. Additionally, Busch Beer was the “Official Beer of NASCAR” from 1988-97. Beginning in 1998, Anheuser-Busch sponsored the Bud Pole Award through its Budweiser brand, which also became the “Official Beer of NASCAR” through 2007.

Coca-Cola

Coca-Cola has been involved with stock car racing for 50 years and became a NASCAR official partner in 1998. As a premier partner, Coca-Cola will continue its sponsorship of both NASCAR Troops to the Track and NASCAR Salutes, the portion of the season focused on highlighting industry-wide appreciation of the U.S. Armed Forces. Coca-Cola will also continue to own race entitlements at Charlotte Motor Speedway and Daytona International Speedway. Additionally, Coca-Cola becomes the presenting sponsor of the NASCAR Cup Series regular season championship trophy.

“Coca-Cola has a long history of successful collaboration with NASCAR and elevating our position to premier partner provides even more opportunity to connect fans to unforgettable experiences,” said John Mount, vice president, sports marketing, Coca-Cola North America, in a statement. “Further integrating our two brands affords Coca-Cola the opportunity to build on our winning formula and contribute to the growth of the sport in the years ahead.”

The agreement further enhances Coca-Cola’s position as the “Official Soft Drink of NASCAR.” A signature part of the brand’s marketing strategy is the Coca-Cola Racing Family – an exclusive group of top drivers representing Coca-Cola who are featured across company advertising, promotions and packaging.  

GEICO

GEICO’s involvement in NASCAR spans more than a decade and the company became the “Official Insurance Provider of NASCAR” earlier this year. As one of the most fully integrated brands in the sport, GEICO will enhance its existing assets through its Premier Partnership and become the presenting partner of a season phase.

“Our affiliation with NASCAR has been successful over the past decade and expanding our role to Premier Partner was the next logical step,” said Bill Brower, assistant vice president of marketing for GEICO. “Our expanded presence will allow us to further engage the most brand-loyal fans in sports, bolster our effective marketing platform and play a prominent role in the sport in the years ahead.”

In addition to GEICO’s team partnership with Germain Racing and Ty Dillon, the brand’s involvement in NASCAR includes highly visible assets such as the GEICO Restart Zone, its race entitlement at Talladega Superspeedway and campground sponsorships.

Busch Beer pays off on bet, unveils Kevin Harvick’s ‘millennial look’ All-Star Race paint scheme

Busch Beer
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Prior to last year’s season-ending race at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Busch Beer promised that it would sponsor a “millennial look” car for Kevin Harvick if he did not win the race.

Well, Harvick finished third – but Busch lived up to its promise, revealing the paint scheme Harvick’s No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford Mustang will carry in next week’s NASCAR All-Star Race in a video tweet Tuesday.

Check it out:

And then check out what Harvick had to say:

Follow @JerryBonkowski

 

Promotion has way for fans to win a piece of Kevin Harvick’s car

Photo: Busch Beer
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Busch Beer will celebrate its 40-year presence at the Daytona 500 with a unique way for fans to win a piece of Kevin Harvick’s car.

Busch Beer has taken sheet metal and carbon fiber from Harvick’s cars and turned them into 40 collector beer cans. Fans can win one of the cans by watching the Daytona 500 broadcast on Fox and play the on-screen trivia contest. Fans will need tweet their responses using the hashtag #Car2Can #BuschContest to be entered.

“It’s an authentic piece of the car and on every can, it shows you were your piece came from,” said Harvick, the 2007 Daytona 500 winner and 2014 Cup champion. “(Busch Beer has) put a lot of time and effort into trying to be interactive with the fans.”

MORE: Kevin Harvick says key NASCAR change is one being overlooked

The promotion combines a live sporting event, the event broadcast and social media.

“It’s not sticker slapping (on a car) anymore,” Harvick told NBC Sports of reaching fans. “This is really about how do we interact with the fans, how do we make an impact on the event and bring it to the race car without just slapping a sticker on and buying an in-car camera.

“In today’s world there are a lot of boxes to check, there’s your television viewer, there’s your cordless television viewer, there’s your social media viewer, so you have to have things that somehow cross into all those areas. It’s definitely a new approach on things.”

Busch also is auctioning off the first can of the collection on Feb. 11 in benefit of Keep America Beautiful. The charity auction will be at rallyup.com/car2can. All proceeds will go directly to Keep America Beautiful and be matched dollar for dollar by Busch. Keep America Beautiful’s mission is to improve and beautify community environments across the county.

Cup cars are on track Feb. 9 at Daytona International Speedway. Daytona 500 qualifying is Feb. 10. The duel qualifying races are Feb. 14. The Daytona 500 is Feb. 17.

If Kevin Harvick doesn’t win in Miami, his car will be ‘lit’ for one race in 2019

Busch Beer
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First, you don’t need to adjust your screen.

Second, it’s not April Fool’s Day.

The race car pictured above – covered in Millennial-inspired Internet slang and emojis – could be seen in one Cup Series race next year. And Kevin Harvick, who at 42 years old is definitely not a Millennial, could be driving it.

Busch Beer announced Thursday if Harvick does not win Sunday’s championship race at Homestead-Miami Speedway (3 p.m. ET on NBC) and therefore win the championship, Stewart-Haas Racing’s No. 4 Ford will look something like it does in the picture.

So make sure to get caught up on what all the cool Millennial kids are saying on the “lit” World Wide Web these days, because YOLO.

 and on Facebook

Kevin Harvick’s Darlington scheme revealed

Lionel Racing
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Kevin Harvick will race like it’s 1996 with his paint scheme for the Sept. 2 Southern 500.

His No. 4 Ford will be sponsored by Busch Beer and the car’s look will be based on the beer’s can design from 20 years ago.

Harvick, who won the 2014 Southern 500, has been sponsored by Busch and Budweiser in the three throwback themed races at Darlington Raceway so far, with Budweiser on the car in 2015.

Harvick’s paint scheme joins a short list of those that have been announced so far. Those include schemes for Brad Keselowski, Kurt Busch, Matt DiBenedetto and Ryan Blaney.

Here’s each of Harvick’s throwback schemes so far.

2015

2016

2017