The stock car racing series that has been known for years as Sprint Cup will be getting a new name. NASCAR announced Thursday that it has signed Monster Energy as the racing circuit’s new title sponsor.
The agreement makes Monster Energy only the third title sponsor in the history of NASCAR’s top division, following R.J. Reynolds’ Winston brand and Sprint-Nextel.
“The length and terms of the agreement were not immediately disclosed, but the corporate leaders of both entities praised the partnership as an ideal fit for their respective brands,” Autoweek reports. “NASCAR CEO Brian France hailed the process as the most important one he’s presided over, while Monster chief marketing officer Mark Hall believed his team would provide new ideas for stock-car racing.”
Said France: “This is one of the few sales calls that I actually personally made because of how important it was to align ourselves with a dynamic brand that reaches different places and different audiences, and they made us feel very comfortable. Motorsports is in their DNA. When you walk through their lobby in California, you see that. You see the motorcycles and NASCAR memorabilia, and that’s who they are.”
Monster Energy’s Hall declined to make the company’s marketing plans public, meaning that, among other things, we can only guess what the series will be called starting next year.
NASCAR’s premier series was known as the Strictly Stock Series in 1949, its first year of competition, then quickly settled into the title Grand National Series for the next two decades. Winston became the series’ first title sponsor in 1971, and the circuit ran under the name Winston Cup from 1971-2003.
Nextel came aboard at the end of Winston’s run, and the circuit became the Nextel Cup Series from 2004-2007. Following Sprint’s acquisition of Nextel in 2005, the Sprint Cup Series was born and NASCAR ran the circuit under that title from 2008 through this year.