Lou Garate: “The past couple of years, they’ve probably one of the most actively engaged brands in our sport.”
So far in 2018, the NASCAR pole award has been presented without a sponsor. Instead, they placed the Monster Energy logo in place of the former Coors Light pole award banner.
But, regardless of the logo, for the first 3 races of 2018, the pole position was unsponsored.
That changed today. Anheuser-Busch has re-joined the program. They will become the official replacement of the MillerCoors deal.
Previously, Anheuser-Busch sponsored the pole award during a 10 year span from 1997 to 2007. In 2008, Coors picked up sponsorship of the award for their own 10-year run with the marketing campaign.
“They talk about heritage and being true to their values as core tenets of their brand, and I think that fits very well with what NASCAR is and what it represents as well,’’ said Lou Garate, NASCAR vice president, partnership. “It’s a good fit. It’s a good win for everybody overall.”
In turn, Anheuser-Busch will also once again become the official beer of NASCAR. That’s another label they’ve held in the past.
“We’re really excited,’’ said Chelsea Phillips, Vice President, Value and Beyond Beer brands, Anheuser-Busch. “I think this is going to be a really fun time and Kevin Harvick has already started the season off with a pretty good roll.
“We see immense value in the loyalty of the NASCAR fan and us being integrated throughout the sport in a number of different touch points,” Chelsea Phillips told ESPN’s Bob Pockrass.
“So in addition to working with Stewart-Haas and Kevin, the track partnership and then the league partnership was something of interest and then the pole award has had such significant history with us and the sport is the right fit for us.”
The MillerCoors pole award expired following the 2017 racing season. NASCAR did not renew that deal in time for the new season. However, for 2018, they had more than one option to pick from.
“There was interest on both sides of that conversation happening,” NASCAR vice president Lou Garate said. “We also got some other calls, but we thought this was the best brand and organization to go with. It’s a good match between our two brands — two brands that are steep in heritage and [we] on both sides believe in the value of the brands.
“It does make an easier discussion to have. Busch beer is committed to NASCAR. The past couple of years, they’ve probably one of the most actively engaged brands in our sport.”
The Busch Beer pole award will be presented this weekend at Auto Club Speedway.
The Advanced Auto Parts Clash will remain titled as such for 2019. That race, featuring pole sitters from the previous season was known as the Busch Clash in years past. As of now, there’s no immediate plans to change that title.