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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]
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Chase Elliott, driver of the #24 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet SS, stops in his pit on his way to a fifth place finish Saturday night, April 9, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas. Elliott takes over the #24 car from retired driver Jeff Gordon.  (Photo by Ashley R Dickerson for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS, races to a fourth place finish Saturday night, April 9, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo by Alan Marler for Chevy Racing)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS, finishes in second place Saturday night, April 9, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Brian Cleary for Chevy Racing)
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Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota, celebrates after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 9, 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 9, 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Sarah Crabill/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota, celebrates winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 9, 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Sarah Crabill/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 9, 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Carl Edwards, driver of the #19 Stanley Toyota, leads the field to the green flag to start the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 9, 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Bass Pro Shops/TRACKER Boats Toyota, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 7, 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Carl Edwards, driver of the #19 Stanley Toyota, poses with the Coors Light Pole Award after qualifying for the pole position for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 8, 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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