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NASCAR: Nextel Cup will change to Sprint Cup in 2008


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http://www.nascar.com/2007/news/headlines/....cup/index.html

NASCAR's premier series renamed Sprint Cup for '08

By Sporting News Wire Service

July 7, 2007

06:45 PM EDT

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Though Saturday's announcement came as no surprise, it's now official -- NASCAR's Nextel Cup Series has changed its name to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, effective Jan. 1, 2008.

NASCAR chairman and CEO Brian France joined with Sprint's Tim Kelly (chief marketing officer), Tom Murphy (vice president of experiential marketing) and Dean Kessel (director of Nextel Cup Series marketing) in the media center at Daytona International Speedway for the announcement and unveiling of the new series logo.

The timing of the name change announcement coincides with the launch of a new advertising campaign that will mark the aggressive promotion of the Sprint brand and the phase-out of the Nextel name. Sprint will supplant Nextel in all aspects of the title sponsorship, including the all-star race in May.

The name change results from Sprint's ascendance as the dominant brand after Sprint's acquisition of Nextel for $35 billion in 2005 led to the formation of Sprint Nextel Corp., one of the largest telecommunications companies in the world.

"When we originally entered into the first agreement with Nextel, we actually and they actually contemplated the possibility that this might happen," France said. "Obviously, they didn't know at that point about being acquired by Sprint, or the merger, but what they did know was they were in a fast-moving industry in telecom, and they wanted to get bigger.

"The question for us is, while it's never easy to change the name of your primary series, you most important series ... but in talking to the Sprint group for some time now, it's very obvious to us that their focus, and rightly so, will be against the Sprint brand."

France acknowledged the possibility of confusion between the Sprint Cup Series and open-wheeled sprint cars had entered the discussions between NASCAR and the title sponsor but were not a major concern.

"It's obviously something we talked about, but we're very comfortable with it," France said. "The branding that will be done in this series and all the effort Sprint has made on its own will help mitigate any kind of confusion."

France also sees an important contractual distinction between the change from Nextel to Sprint and the re-branding of Cingular Wireless to AT&T on Jeff Burton's No. 31 Chevrolet, a dispute that led to litigation involving NASCAR, AT&T and Sprint Nextel.

AT&T won a preliminary injunction against NASCAR that allowed the placement of the AT&T logos on the Cingular car, but that ruling is currently in appeal, and NASCAR has filed a $100-million counter suit against AT&T, which is pending.

"The difference is that we have a contract that allows them to do it, and we permitted it," France said of the title sponsorship agreement with Sprint Nextel. "They [AT&T] seized on really a technicality, and we'll have to see if the court systems will see it our way as we go down the road.

"We think they're very separate issues, and we're comfortable with that."

Kelly echoed France's perspective.

"As Brian said, we had the contractual right to make the change, and we had to move forward with our business and not be distracted by things that were happening in the courts," Kelly said. "It was the right thing to do for Sprint and for NASCAR to make this change at this point.

"That's why we made it now."

• Accompanying the announcement of the name change was the introduction of the SprintSpeed Million presented by Motorola, where one fan will be paired with each of the 12 drivers in the Chase for the NASCAR Nextel Cup with a guaranteed $1 million on the line.

The sweepstakes opens July 15 and closes Sept. 3, after which the 12 fortunate fans will be chosen in a drawing. The fan whose driver wins the championship gets the $1 million prize.

It's probably for the better as "Sprint" is more fitting for auto racing.

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As reported from ESPN's Marty Smith a week ago. No big deal as Sprint bought Nextel years ago. The consolidation of brands is no big deal as long as the #24 car can win a title under this name too. Then one more under Sprint, then the rest of the left turn circuit goes to JPM!

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Sprint Cup could be a bit confusing after all there is something called sprint cars

Link%20Smith.jpg

Will it be confusing...in one word: No.

NASCAR fans don't give a good gosh darn about most open wheeled series. A sprint car fan knows what that car is, a race fan does too, but a simple NASCAR fan could care less. Tank, you gave us the winged version too.

Most North American sports fans don't care about open wheel now. Plus, since NASCAR will precede it (NNCS for Nextel and NBS, for teh now sponsored Busch Series), the race fan won't care at all. If they cares, don't you think there would have more news over the dropping of Winston Cup for not only NASCAR, but also NHRA? Little complaints. They root for drivers, period. See that when Dale, Jr. if has to give up the 8 as NASCAR as told DEI and Hendrick not to deal for numbers..

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See that when Dale, Jr. if has to give up the 8 as NASCAR as told DEI and Hendrick not to deal for numbers..

:D

First, the Bucco_b falmeout you had earlier, but now, it's amazing. Please call it a day.

In an attempt to jest, you display a youtube clip from a Bud a which the poster has possibly the worst grammar ever, but you even proved my point through this.

Bill Elliott was the post popular driver as voted on by NASCAR fans from 1984-88 and again from 1991-2000. In that time he not only switched numbers, but also from BEER sponsors (until 1991, he was with Melling-Coors, then switched to Junior Jonson's Bud-sponsored team). NASCAR fans root for the driver, not for the number.

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See that when Dale, Jr. if has to give up the 8 as NASCAR as told DEI and Hendrick not to deal for numbers..

:D

First, the Bucco_b falmeout you had earlier, but now, it's amazing. Please call it a day.

In an attempt to jest, you display a youtube clip from a Bud a which the poster has possibly the worst grammar ever, but you even proved my point through this.

Bill Elliott was the post popular driver as voted on by NASCAR fans from 1984-88 and again from 1991-2000. In that time he not only switched numbers, but also from BEER sponsors (until 1991, he was with Melling-Coors, then switched to Junior Jonson's Bud-sponsored team). NASCAR fans root for the driver, not for the number.

Wait...im confused...there was flaming between me and Bucco? There was no flaming, sir, just a minor misunderstanding. And that clip was just a joke. Your statement reminded me of that commercial. Didnt mean to defend or offend anyone.

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