Friday’s official confirmation that Verizon is the new title sponsor for the IndyCar series can be simplified into this analogy: one of the most visible and vibrant companies in the country will try to raise the awareness of a sport that’s starved for attention.
“We think it’s a game changer for the IndyCar series,” said Mark Miles, CEO of Hulman & Company. “I can’t imagine a more perfect partner than Verizon to take innovation forward and showcase technology. “We can’t wait to activate.”
No terms were revealed but it’s thought to be a 10-year-deal worth $10 million annually.
As reported Monday on RACER.com by Marshall Pruett, Verizon’s sponsorship replaces IZOD’s five-year run but unlike some other past title sponsors, this seems more like a continuation of a good thing. Verizon has sponsored front-runner Will Power at Team Penske the past four years and is also backing Juan Montoya’s return to IndyCar in 2014 in addition to providing the pole position award and being an official partner of the series.
“We’ve become increasingly selective with the organizations we partner with, we’ve got a good relationship with IndyCar and now it’s time to step up,” said Brian Angiolet, vice president of marketing for Verizon Wireless. “We are not just mobile, wireless or a phone company, we’re more of a technology company and IndyCar is a perfect place to apply our technology.”
One of IndyCar’s major voids has been the lack of national marketing to promote drivers and races. Verizon featured Power in a national television commercial two years ago and Angiolet was asked what percentage of the sponsorship would be applied to television, billboards, magazine and newspaper advertising. “I won’t get specific but we’ll invest in whatever level is appropriate,” he replied.
Added Miles: “I think you’ll see a discernable difference this year.”
Roger Penske sounded pleased to be sharing his personal sponsor with the paddock. “Verizon has been a terrific partner for Team Penske and as a global leader in technology and communications the company is a perfect fit,” said The Captain. “Verizon has a tremendous passion for IndyCar racing and we’ve seen how it can help bring the sport closer to the fans.”
Verizon, which features the INDYCAR 14 app, will also deploy its LTE multicast solution at racetracks in the future. This emerging technology delivers multi-faceted multimedia content to multiple devices at once rather than sending it in a separate stream to each user.