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NASCAR moves toward new sponsor model despite Monster’s offer

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NASCAR is moving forward with a new multitiered approach to title sponsorship despite overtures from Monster Energy about returning for a fourth year as primary backer of its premier series.

A person with direct knowledge of the talks confirmed Monster’s interest to NBC Sports and said it’s probable there will be three tiers in 2020 to replace the traditional title sponsor model. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly about negotiations.

The news that Monster had offered to extend its title sponsorship was first reported by the Sports Business Journal, which also reported that the company could become a lower-level partner.

NASCAR initially revealed its new plan for title sponsorship a year ago while announcing Monster’s one-year extension through the 2019 season. NASCAR President Steve Phelps said then it was “highly unlikely” that Monster would return as the sole title sponsor of the Cup Series, which it joined in 2017 in replacing Sprint.

The new sponsorship model will bundle assets from NASCAR, its tracks, TV networks and teams in hopes of increasing value to make it easier to sell to prospects.

In a Nov. 18 news conference at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Phelps said there had been “a significant number of meetings with potential sponsors.

“There is a general excitement around what the model could be and where it’s going.  So, I’m bullish on making sure that we have the right sponsors in there, and I’m bullish that it’s going to do what it is intended to do, which is to make sure that we are getting sponsors at that highest level and rewarding them for what they do for our sport.”