NASCAR announced Thursday it has agreed to a multi-year deal with Monster Energy to be the sport’s top series’ entitlement sponsor.
Terms of the agreement, which was announced at a news conference in Las Vegas, weren’t revealed. NASCAR CEO and chairman Brian France also said the name of the series — perhaps it won’t be called the Monster Cup? — hasn’t been determined. The deal also includes sponsorship for the annual all-star race held in May at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Here’s what you need to know about NASCAR’s third title sponsorship in the top series’ history, following R.J. Reynolds and Sprint/Nextel:
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What kind of company is Monster Energy and what is its history in motorsports?
Monster Energy makes energy drinks (its chief competitor is Red Bull) and is based in Corona, Calif. Monster has a long history in motorsports sponsorships, including being the title sponsor of the Monster Energy Super Cross motorcycle racing series. Monster also sponsors Kurt Busch’s NASCAR Cup team. The company’s first venture into NASCAR was sponsoring former driver Robby Gordon.
“Motorsports is their DNA,” France said. “They understand motorsports. They understand NASCAR. They understand how to reach across and excite our core audience and help us deliver on a new audience, and that was very exciting for us.”
What’s Monster’s target audience?
Let Monster chief marketing officer Mark Hall explain:
“Young people set trends in fashion, and then older people adapt. Fashion is set by a small group of influencers. The challenge is to make your product relevant to that group and then have them influence the others. If we've been successful in the past, we've followed that model.”
How will Monster help market NASCAR?
Hall said Monster hasn’t used traditional means of marketing, such as television advertising, but that might shift now.
“We've done different things [and] we've been successful getting a lot of eyeballs. But looking at this opportunity and this close partnership to where our names are linked so synonymously, this is a way to do traditional media,” Hall said. “The reach of the connection and the partnership is going to be unique for us because our names will be closely associated. Every time you say NASCAR, we hope we're going to say Monster Energy.”
What does this do for the financial health of NASCAR, which has had recent declines in attendance and television ratings?
Although terms weren’t disclosed, the deal will run for the most part parallel to NASCAR’s recent 10-year, $8.2 billion package it signed in 2013 with Fox and NBC. So the sport’s bottom line will be fine for the foreseeable future.
“It's a different kind of agreement for sure in that it's got activation in different ways and media in different ways,” France said. “But we're quite pleased with the agreement. You're going to see some additional activation, additional things that will occur, so this is more, not less, in that regard.”
What will the series be called and when will that be announced?
That’s to be determined.
“We are working on the exact composite logo and we'll be back shortly on that,” said France. “It won't be long, but we've got some real good options on that.”