Bank Of America Not Renewing Deal As Official NASCAR Sponsor

Bank of America will not renew its official NASCAR sponsorship that ends after this year, according to multiple Sports Business Daily sources. BofA has been NASCAR's official sponsor since '07 in the categories of Financial Services, Checking, Savings, Credit/Debit, Mutual Funds and Security Brokerage, Mortgages and Credit Cards.

BofA took over for SunTrust, Home123 Corp. and Centrix Financial, which had the rights divvied up between them through '06. Sources valued BofA's deal in the low- to mid-seven figures annually. Sources noted that in ’14, BofA’s contract was expiring, but the sanctioning body was able to get a one-year extension. However, amid a time of cutbacks across its sponsorship portfolio, the bank is now planning to let the deal expire without a renewal.

BofA will still be involved in NASCAR through a Hendrick Motorsports sponsorship and entitlement of Charlotte Motor Speedway’s Sprint Cup Series race in October. BofA had activated heavily around NASCAR when it first came into the sport, adding affinity cards and TV advertising that incorporated star drivers.

BofA, whose sports portfolio includes naming rights to the Panthers’ stadium, declined to comment. NASCAR would not directly confirm the move, but through a statement by COO Brent Dewar, the sanctioning body did say, “Beginning in 2016, NASCAR has an opportunity to explore several options with financial institutions across a range of categories. We will be making announcements in the new year."

AVAILABLE CREDIT: Sources said that NASCAR has been out in the marketplace seeking a replacement for BofA, talking to companies including Cincinnati-based Fifth Third Bank, which has a sizable presence in the Midwest and is trying to make inroads in the Southeast.

Fifth Third has taken a more prominent role in NASCAR in recent years, including the addition of VP/Strategy & Business Development for Motorsports David Morton, who solely focuses on the space.

It also has sponsorships with Roush Fenway Racing and SMI and ISC tracks, including a recent deal to become the official bank of Daytona Int'l Speedway. However, sources said Fifth Third for now has declined the chance to replace BofA. Industry sources have pointed to Wells Fargo, SunTrust, U.S. Bank and Citi as possible replacements for BofA.

The loss of BofA will put a bit of a damper on NASCAR’s season from a marketing standpoint, but it did earn extensions in '15 with Sherwin-Williams, 3M’s automotive-aftermarket division, K&N Filters, Mechanix Wear and Universal Technical Institute. NASCAR also added new deals with Microsoft and DraftKings. Adam Stern/SportsbusinessDaily.com

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