Nationwide Signs Three-Year Deal To Become A Primary Sponsor On Dale Jr.’s No. 88

Nationwide Insurance has signed a multiyear sponsorship agreement to become a primary sponsor of Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s No. 88 car for 12 races beginning next year. The three-year deal, which increases to 13 races in '16 and '17, closes out all of the open inventory on Earnhardt’s car. It is valued at more than $10M a year.

Nationwide Insurance has endorsed Earnhardt since '09 and has featured him in national advertising campaigns during the last five years. The deal with Hendrick Motorsports allows the Columbus-based company to continue to use Earnhardt in advertising while also being featured on his car in Sprint Cup races for the next three years. It is unclear whether Nationwide Insurance will continue to sponsor Roush Fenway Racing’s No. 17 car driven by Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Nationwide Insurance could not be reached for comment; Hendrick Motorsports declined to comment.

In a rarity, Nationwide will join a current insurance sponsor already aligned with the team. Sources said Hendrick Motorsports is close to finalizing an extension with Farmers Insurance on the No. 5 driven by Kasey Kahne. The company is expected to reduce the number of primary races it currently sponsors from 20 races a season. The deals underscore the strength of Hendrick Motorsports, the most decorated team in the sport, and could set a precedent in the sport. NASCAR teams typically offer sponsors category exclusivity across an entire team. Tripp Mickle/

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