New Long Beach Grand Prix Sponsor (2nd Update)

Jim Michaelian happy with new sponsor
Jim Michaelian happy with new sponsor Acura

UPDATE This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' today as the AR1.com prediction came true – The Grand Prix Association of Long Beach announced today that it has reached a multi-year agreement with Acura to become title sponsor of the Grand Prix of Long Beach starting in 2019. Full Story on our Home page.

02/04/19 Acura will be announced as official tomorrow.

“It’s a new dawn, new era and we’re all looking forward to a new relationship," Jim Michaelian said over the weekend to the Long Beach Press Telegram. “I think it’s a common feeling that’s shared among all of us at the Grand Prix Association and I sense the same thing on behalf of our new sponsor, too.

“It’s an opportunity for us to create a new partnership and we’re looking forward to maximizing that effort."

“I won’t go into numbers," he said. “But I can tell you this, it was an extensive exploration that took place. But, remember, we haven’t been in the marketplace for a title sponsor for 39 years. Thirty-nine years, OK?

“A lot has changed during that time. We were very diligent in terms of going out and seeing what the options were. And keep in mind that we were looking at a situation where we were looking at both automotive and non-automotive and combinations and all that stuff."

One thing seems certain – Michaelian loves the end result.

“I can tell you without going into details the selection that we did is the ideal partner for us," he said.

Start of last year's race
Start of last year's race. Look for the Toyota bridge to now be the Acura bridge as well

01/31/19 According to sources, Acura will be announced as the new sponsor of the Grand Prix of Long Beach next Tuesday and the event will be renamed the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach.

Acura replaces Toyota who sponsored the event for 44-years.

Acura powers the Penske team in the IMSA event on Saturday during the weekend and is the luxury brand of Honda. Honda is one of two engine manufacturers in the main event – the IndyCar race on Sunday.

Kevin Kalkhoven and Gerald Forsythe own the event and we expect both Kalkhoven, and Jim Michaelian (event President) will make the announcement on Tuesday along with the President of Honda Performance Development, Art St. Cyr.

Honda and Acura have a big presence in California and Honda HPD is headquartered in nearby Valencia, CA.

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