Verizon Wireless has been confirmed as the new title sponsor for the premier US open wheel motorports championship, meaning that the official name for 2014 will now be the Verizon IndyCar Series.
The telecommunications giant replaces sports apparel retailer IZOD, whose deal with the series came to an end after the conclusion of the 2013 season. Verizon has a long involvement in the sport, with Verizon having been the official provider of wireless data services to the series for the past four years, as well as sponsoring the P1 Pole Award.
“Verizon's commitment to IndyCar demonstrates its belief in the direction of our sport and further corroborates our long-term goals," said Mark Miles, CEO of IndyCar's parent company Hulman & Co.
“Verizon is the perfect partner for us to showcase the high level of innovation and technology that is inherent in our sport,” added Miles. “IndyCar will provide a large audience of tech-savvy consumers who are eager for the latest technology to further enhance their experience."
“Verizon is delighted to become the title sponsor of the Verizon IndyCar Series and to bring even more of our innovative technology to the fans, to the teams and to the entire motorsports community,” agreed Dan Mead, president and CEO of Verizon Wireless.
"The intersection of racing and technology has never been more relevant, and our expanded partnership with IndyCar provides a unique opportunity to demonstrate that synergy, integrate new services like LTE Multicast and help propel the sport forward," Mead added.
The official announcement said that the two companies "will engage in a multi-dimensional partnership linking sports, entertainment and technology," which will get underway with the first event of the new 18-race season at St Petersbrug at the end of the month.
As part of the collaboration, there will be significant network coverage upgrades to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway ahead of the 98th running of the Indianapolis 500 in May.
Verizon has also been the primary sponsor of the #12 Verizon Team Penske car driven by Will Power. Today's announcement made clear that the relationship with Roger Penske's squad would not only remain but will expand further for the 2014 season, as Verizon will now be the primary sponsor of the #2 entry driven Juan Pablo Montoya for at least eight races this season.
The amount that Verizon will be paying for naming rights was not disclosed, and the duration of the new title deal was not specified other than being described as 'multi-year.'
Verizon's chief rival in the US mobile market, Sprint, is already the title sponsor of the top series in NASCAR stock car racing.