|Is Mark Miles asleep at the wheel or will IndyCar offer Coors a much lower price and snare them from NASCAR? They won't bite if races remain on cable TV. It's the ratings stupid.|
MillerCoors and NASCAR have not yet been able to reach an agreement to extend Coors Light's official beer deal with the sanctioning body that expires this year, according to sources. That makes a renewal look increasingly unlikely as the sport's offseason begins.
Coors Light has been the official beer of NASCAR since '08 when it replaced Budweiser in a five-year deal that was originally valued around $4M annually. The deal was renewed in '12.
While the sides maintain that they have not stopped negotiating and that a last-ditch save of the deal thus remains possible, sources said that NASCAR and MillerCoors have not been able to find a suitable arrangement to move forward despite negotiating for months after the brewer sought to renegotiate terms of a possible extension.
MillerCoors, which sponsors the pole winner award every week as part of its deal, has cut back its presence in NASCAR in recent years, first getting rid of its at-track models that were part of its sanctioning body deal and then recently announcing an extension under reduced terms with Team Penske.
It also has reduced its retail activation with the deal, something that has frustrated industry execs as they try to create more buzz for the sport.
The brewer is in a transition amid being divested to Molson Coors Brewing Co. as part of the SABMiller-AB InBev mega merger last year. NASCAR added 12 official partners and renewed with ExxonMobil and Goodyear, but a re-opening of the beer category would present an important new task for the sanctioning body's business development team to tackle. NASCAR and MillerCoors declined comment. Adam Stern/SBD