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Sprint extends Cup sponsorship to 2016

Telecommunications company Sprint has signed a three-year extension to its title sponsorship of NASCAR's top-level Cup series, taking it through to the end of 2016.
NASCAR announced at the end of last week that they had signed an extension to their existing sponsorship deal with telecoms giant Sprint, which will see the company have naming rights to the top-level Cup series through to the end of the 2016 season.

The series became the Sprint Cup when the Sprint Corporation took over Nextel Communications in 2005. Nextel had been the title sponsors since 2004 when they replaced longtime series sponsor Winston, and Sprint took over the original ten-year sponsorship deal with their acquisition and the Nextel Cup duly became the Sprint Cup.

The original deal would have expired at the end of the 2013 season, but it had seemed clear for much of this season that Sprint were looking at extending and deepening their backing of America's most popular motor sport series, leading to last week's announcement that a three-year extension would see Sprint remaing as the the sport's main backers until the end of 2016.

"I could not be more pleased than to announce and celebrate tonight that Sprint and NASCAR have agreed to an extension of our relationship," said Sprint chief executive officer Dan Hesse.

Hesse was speaking on Friday in Las Vegas, where NASCAR's officials, teams, drivers and sponsors were assembled at the Wynne Hotel-Casino for several days of post-season celebrations - which included Sprint handing new champion Tony Stewart a cheque for $5.8m, as well as the sight of Jeff Gordon revealing a hitherto unsuspected talent for break dancing.

"It probably wasn't an option for us not to [extend]", said Sprint's vice president for corporate marketing Steve Gaffney. "It's too important for us as a brand. It's an incredible relationship. It's a great sport ... The enthusiasm of the fans, the product of the track: we couldn't be more proud to be associated with NASCAR, and we look forward to this relationship growing more and more over the coming years."

"We're pleased to have Sprint back and to have an extension," said NASCAR's chief marketing officer Steve Phelps. "To have a brand like Sprint, who is our entitlement partner and our largest sponsor in the sport, to come back and essentially renew early for us is huge. I think it provides a lot of wind at our back.

"We had a great year at the track, an incredible Chase with the best finish we've had ever in our Sprint Cup history," he continued. "So, yeah, I think it will provide some significant wind at our back and help those teams that are still looking for sponsorship."

Neither Sprint nor NASCAR would give details about the financial terms of the agreement, and whether or not Sprint are maintaining their former level of sponsorship funding - estimated at around $70m per year - or whether the current economic climate has forced everyone to tighten their belts as the price for the financial security and public endorsement of an early renewal.

“I can say that I'm 100 percent [sure] that both Sprint and NASCAR are really pleased about the way the negotiations ended up and the fact that we're partners through 2016,” insisted Gaffney.


Tagged as: sponsorship , Sprint

Related Pictures

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Tony Stewart and Carl Edwards shake hands after the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion`s Week Awards Ceremony at Wynn Las Vegas on Dec. 2, 2011, in Las Vegas, Nev. [Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR]
Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Office Depot/Mobil 1 Chevrolet, drives ahead of Carl Edwards, driver of the #99 Aflac Ford, during the NASCAR Victory Lap on the Las Vegas Strip on Dec. 1, 2011, in Las Vegas, Nev. [Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images]
Jeff Gordon shows off his breakdancing skills during NASCAR After the Lap at The Joint inside the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on Dec. 1, 2011, in Las Vegas, Nev. [Photo Credit: David Becker/Getty Images for NASCAR]
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Tony Stewart speaks during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion`s Week Awards Ceremony at Wynn Las Vegas on Dec. 2, 2011, in Las Vegas, Nev. [Photo Credit: Ethan Miller/Getty Images]
Sprint CEO Dan Hesse, left, shakes hands with NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Tony Stewart during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion`s Week Awards Ceremony at Wynn Las Vegas on Dec. 2, 2011, in Las Vegas, Nev. [Photo Credit: Ethan Miller/Getty Images]
The victorious Stewart-Haas Racing team celebrate winning the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, and Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet, lead a pack of cars during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 14, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, passes Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, to take the lead and win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, pits during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, and team owner Tony Stewart celebrate winning in Victory Lane after the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, celebrates with his wife DeLana and son Keelan in victory lane after winning during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, celebrates with the trophy in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Marcos Ambrose, driver of the #9 Stanley Ford, poses with his team before his last race, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory and the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Sunday, November 16, 2014 winning the final NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS finishes 2nd. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory and the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Sunday, November 16, 2014 winning the final NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS finishes 2nd. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory and the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Sunday, November 16, 2014 winning the final NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS finishes 2nd. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)

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