The IndyCar Series has been on the hunt to identify a new title sponsor for more than a year, and it appears the search has finally reached a positive conclusion. IZOD, the clothing brand that recently concluded a four-year entitlement program with the series, is expected to be replaced on IndyCar’s masthead by telecommunications company Verizon.
Verizon also serves as the primary sponsor of the No. 12 Team Penske entry and will sponsor the No. 2 Team Penske car at select events this year. Rumors of a deal with Verizon have circulated since January, although Hulman & Company CEO Mark Miles would not confirm the identity of the series’ new promotional partner.
“I can say we are close to signing and announcing a new title sponsor for the IndyCar Series that could be announced within the next couple of weeks,” Miles told RACER.
IZOD was credited for heavy activation and national promotion during the first two years of its IndyCar Series sponsorship, but a noticeable change was visible in 2012 and 2013 when its commercials and print ads seemingly disappeared. Annual payments were still made to the series, but with a lame duck sponsor on its hands, few marketing dollars were spent by IZOD as it waited for its contract to run its course.
RACER has learned the series has rectified this problem in the contract with its new title sponsor, which includes specific language and obligations that will require significant advertising expenditures to be made on an annual basis.
Coupled with a new sponsor for the series that will promote its involvement, Miles sees a wave of momentum building for IndyCar.
“We’re building a great bullpen with Chevy, Honda, Firestone, a new title sponsor, and all of the companies and corporations that are active in promoting our teams, our drivers, and our series,” he said. “We still have a lot of work to do, but I like the progress I’m seeing.”