Marketing pros look at process for replacing Sprint

Don't worry, NASCAR fans, about Sprint leaving as the sponsor of the stockcar racing's premier series. At least not yet. Those in the marketing world think NASCAR will find a sponsor to replace the telecom company when it exits after the 2016 season.

It remains to be seen whether NASCAR can attract a company to spend an estimated $70 million-$75 million annually as it did when it first signed Nextel back in 2003 to start in 2004. But the quick service restaurant industry (Subway, Burger King, etc.), packaged goods (Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Unilever, etc.), consumer products (Panasonic, LG, etc.) or companies looking to boost their product line (as was Nextel) will be prime candidates for NASCAR's next deal.

There also could be interest from new or quickly developing industries, such as the energy sector. These types of sponsorship deals typically take three to six months to complete, and NASCAR likely needs to have a good idea of who will sponsor the series by next July, [Just Marketing International CEO Zak] Brown said. That would be a little late to Humpy Wheeler, the former president of Charlotte Motor Speedway and parent company Speedway Motorsports Inc.

He'd like to see a sponsor in place by this time next year, and he's optimistic that NASCAR will land one. NASCAR's most recent deals for its top two series were for seven and 10 years, so it likely will want this one will to have a similar term. But with things changing so quickly in so many industries, a potential sponsor's executive might prefer a shorter term considering the price. Sporting News

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