Crown Royal may become Brickyard 400 title sponsor

UPDATE #2 This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' today. Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Crown Royal Co. officials today will announce that the whisky brand has signed a deal to title sponsor the Brickyard 400 starting with next year's race. The name of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event will be changed to Crown Royal Presents "Your Hero Here" 400 at the Brickyard. Sources said that the deal is "worth about $15 million over five years" and that it is "financially bigger than any other current NASCAR title sponsorship agreement"

07/22/11 Indianapolis Motor Speedway has apparently firmed up plans with Crown Royal for the whiskey to be the title sponsor of next year's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Brickyard 400. A press conference to confirm the news is scheduled for Thursday.

The official name of the NASCAR event, which will have Grand-Am and the Nationwide Series on the bill along with the Sprint Cup race, has not been confirmed.

The Sprint Cup race earlier this year at Richmond International Raceway was called "Crown Royal presents the Matthew and Daniel Hansen 400," which honored the U.S. Marine Corps as part of online fan voting.

Crown Royal last month announced the impending end of its sponsorship of Matt Kenseth's car at Roush Fenway Racing after this season. That's part of a change in sponsorship philosophy for the company. The Brickyard 400 has not had a title sponsor since Allstate left after the 2009 race. AutoWeek

07/13/11 An unlikely match could give the Indianapolis Motor Speedway a new title sponsor for the Brickyard 400 and a seven-figure windfall starting next summer. That's the direction things are headed, despite appearances to the contrary. Sources are beginning to bubble that Crown Royal is ready to sign a deal to become the title sponsor of the Brickyard 400. It's rumored to be a multi-year deal starting in 2012. Don't be surprised if Indianapolis Motor Speedway CEO Jeff Belskus along with Crown Royal honchos make an announcement at this year's race. And stunningly, the Crown Royal deal& is financially bigger than any other current NASCAR title sponsorship deal. Yes, that means bigger than the Coca-Cola 600 and Irwin Tools Night Race (Bristol) deals. In a soft economy, when the race's attendance has wavered, Speedway officials are going to get around $1.5 million annually for the title sponsorship of its race, sources are whispering. Indianapolis Business Journal

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