Phelps says ‘lot of interest’ in its search to replace Sprint as title sponsor

NASCAR Chief Marketing Officer Steve Phelps
Steve Phelps
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With Sprint set to begin its final season sponsoring stock-car racing's premier series, NASCAR Chief Marketing Officer Steve Phelps said the hunt for a replacement remains steady.

"I think we would characterize it as we're tracking as we thought we would, so a lot of interest," Phelps told NBC Sports in an interview last week.

"A lot of presentations. We have a number of companies active with us in the search, but nothing to report at this point."

Phelps said there is good news with team sponsorship, which he said has grown in terms of the number of companies but become more diffuse in terms of how much each is spending per team. It's resulted in a landscape where only a handful of sponsors are on a Sprint Cup for virtually the entire 36-race season.

"I'm encouraged, but it's difficult (to gauge the sponsor climate) because the model has shifted so much to where the number of sponsors in NASCAR has increased, but the distribution is far different than it was five to 10 to 15 years ago," Phelps said.

"Within the new paradigm, you'll continue to see inventory that's open. You'll see inventory open on some really good cars because they don't want to devalue what the cost is, or devalue the partnerships they currently have." More from NBC Sports

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