Thursday, April 18, 2013

NASCAR's Title Sponsor Sprint is Target of a Takeover

NASCAR's title sponsor, Sprint Nextel Corp. is in the middle of a takeover battle.

Dish Network Corp. on Monday made an unsolicited $25.5-billion offer to buy Sprint, which already had agreed to merge with SoftBank Corp., a Japanese telecommunications company.

Regardless of which company prevails in buying Sprint, it raises the question of whether the change in control could affect the company's title sponsorship of NASCAR's top-tier Sprint Cup Series.

It's too soon to tell because the answer would depend on the new owner's willingness to stay invested in NASCAR. Also, Sprint last year renewed its naming-rights deal with NASCAR through 2016, so there's a contract in place for another three-plus years.

However, a new owner of Sprint might seek to change the series name. The Sprint sponsorship initially was inked by Nextel Corp., and the NASCAR series was called the Nextel Cup Series. The name later was changed to the Sprint Cup Series after Sprint and Nextel merged. (LA Times)