By David G. Firestone
I had planned something concerning bloggers for this week’s My Thoughts On, but then something was announced this week, and I postponed it to discuss it. Sprint has announced that after 2016, they would be leaving the Sprint Cup Series as the titular sponsor. Now this did not come as a shock to me, as the cel phone wars, or smart phone wars are heating up. Unless you’ve been living under a rock with no communication with the outside world, and since you are reading this, that is impossible, the major cel phone carriers are in the midst of a war for customers. Service is going up, prices are going down. The consumer wins in this war, because we are going to get better service and better rates in the long run. Sprint decided to stop with NASCAR as a result of this war.
There is no doubt that this will impact NASCAR, but I think that we will have an announcement of some kind before the end of the 2015 season. I would normally not speculate on who it will be, but I’m thinking it might be Coca Cola, or one of their other brands. This is not without precedent, as they already sponsor the Mello Yello Drag Racing Series in the NHRA. They are also the official soft drink sponsor of NASCAR, and have the pockets deep enough to fund the series. I also think that Coke would make a great sponsor, since they are as aggressive with marketing as they are. Could I be wrong, absolutely, but again this is mere speculation.
What I’m worried about would be an alcohol sponsor taking over, say Miller Lite or Coors Light. When the Xfinity Series was the Busch Series, they did not allow anyone under the age of 21 to race in it, and all that did was screw rookies who need experience out of a few years of their career. Futhermore, it makes marketing difficult as the stuff sold to kids can’t have the logo on it. I don’t know if NASCAR has rules in place or not, but I hope it doesn’t happen.
This will be an interesting story to follow, and I’m interested in seeing who steps up to sponsor the biggest racing series in America.