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Sprint to sponsor season-opening Shootout at Daytona
Kyle Busch won lasts years Budweiser Shootout
Sprint will replace Budweiser as the sponsor of the season-opening race at Daytona beginning this year and change the name of the event from the Shootout to the Sprint Unlimited, Street & Smith’s SportsBusiness Journal reported.

Sprint, the title sponsor of NASCAR’s top series, has signed a multiyear deal to sponsor the race, which will is set for Feb. 16 at 8 p.m., SBJ reported. The deal is valued at six figures per year, sources told SBJ.  Sprint and Daytona International Speedway have yet to announce the format for this year’s race, which features pole winners from the previous year and previous winners of the event.

The annual exhibition race kicks off Speedweeks each season and serves as a preview of the Daytona 500, NASCAR’s biggest race.

Anheuser-Busch, which had sponsored the race for years through its Busch and Budweiser brands, is now the sponsor of the Budweiser Duels, replacing longtime sponsor Gatorade. The Duels are twin qualifying races that set the field for the Daytona 500.

Sprint, which also sponsors NASCAR’s annual all-star race, was a natural replacement for Budweiser for the exhibition race, Daytona President Joie Chitwood told SBJ.  “The relationship they have with NASCAR and the drivers means they can do some things promotionally other partners couldn’t,” Chitwood said. Sprint is renaming the race the Sprint Unlimited to coincide with its marketing campaign for its unlimited data plans, SBJ reported.

Sprint plans to focus part of its marketing plans on integrating fans into the race, according to SBJ. Sporting News

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