‘Premier Series’ is a NASCAR term we were just getting used to – Scratch That!
In recent months NASCAR fans were introduced to new terminology. The ‘NASCAR Premier Series’ began entering our radar via NASCAR executive interviews and NASCAR press releases.
Put a line through that one. ‘Premier Series’ is now being phased out by the NASCAR marketing team just as fast as it was introduced to us.
If you’re a NASCAR fan who tunes out during the off season, you’re likely very confused. The rest of you are still confused, but without the ‘very’ part.
NASCAR was planning to drop ‘cup’ from the NASCAR Cup Series label. ‘Cup’ has been used to label the top tier of NASCAR since 1971.
A new phrase was created. The new terminology for the top division of the NASCAR ladder was for a very short period of time was the ‘NASCAR Premier Series’.
The first time it was introduced to me I heard it from the CEO of NASCAR Brian France. He stated ‘premier series’ and confusion rushed across my brain waves. The new phrase was just placed in front of us without any explanation of where it came from or why. Until recently when the NASCAR Marketing team spoke on the title change in an interview.
What was that new ‘premier series’ phrase about anyway?
The NASCAR offices didn’t like that fans were creating their own label for the sport. Specifically, they wanted the series to be known to fans with the title sponsor in it.
A lot of fans just refer to the formerly named NASCAR Sprint Cup Series as ‘Cup Series’. While on the Xfinity side, a vast majority of fans refer to that series as the ‘Xfinity Series’. Both are short and to the point within the fan base. However, one has the sponsor in it and the other doesn’t. That made the entitlement of the NASCAR Cup Series less valuable to possible sponsors.
A solution to that issue was formed. That’s when the ‘NASCAR Premier Series’ began floating across our radar. It appears fans would just use ‘premier Series’ instead of ‘Cup Series’ but I’ll ignore that. At the time of the ‘NASCAR Premier Series’ inception, the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing didn’t have a title sponsor signed for the top tier of their sport. They were trying to cover all bases and prepare ahead of time for a future issue.
Shortly following the new phrase creation a sponsor was located. NASCAR signed a deal with Monster Energy.
Nearly 3 weeks after the deal was signed we still didn’t have an official name for the ‘premier series’. No official name was given when the sponsor was announced. That led media outlets to create a wide range of different names but none of us were on the same page.
19 days after the deal was announced, we were provided with a new NASCAR logo, the official ‘premier series’ logo and series name. The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series was born.
Related: New NASCAR Logo Released
What happened to NASCAR premier series?
‘Cup’ was still in the title and ‘Premier Series’ evaporated from the NASCAR lingo. According to NASCAR CMO Jill Gregory it was Monster Energy that wanted to continue the use of the word ‘cup’. They saw value in it, so NASCAR went with it and retracted ‘premier series’ from interviews after the announcement.
Last week Jill Gregory commented a bit on the recent NASCAR phrases. She basically said ‘premier series’ would not play a role in NASCAR marketing materials. At the time, she didn’t want to comment further on the confusion.
What about the future?
NASCAR Senior VP & CMO Jill Gregory spoke on the recent labels and the future, “Things are still fluid and will be throughout the holidays into January. Right now, I don’t know if it will be part of the plan. What we’re trying to do is not count anything out, but I think the logo and name you saw (in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series) — that will take the lead as far as how we talk about the series moving forward.”
Fans will always call it whatever they like. The suggestion from NASCAR is for fans to call it the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. The name ‘Cup Series’ is fairly tempting.
Jill Gregory Quotes: Sports Business Daily
Photo: Jonathan Ferrey NASCAR via Getty Images