A Monster Energy entitlement sponsor deal for 2020 is ‘highly unlikely’

The NASCAR entitlement sponsor could be an entirely different presentation in 2020

That’s good news.

On Tuesday, NASCAR announced a 1-year extension with Monster Energy. This renewal came after multiple extensions and a whole lot of stress in the NASCAR office.

NASCAR is one of the few sports that elects to change their name every few years. It’s not great for longevity. Every few years, the sport has to essentially start over. The NFL, MLB, NBA, PGA and others don’t do this.

The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series will continue to be named as such through 2019. In 2020, that deal won’t completely disappear, it’s just not likely to continue in a the specific role of entitlement sponsor. However, an entitlement sponsor renewal for 2020 is “highly unlikely.”

NASCAR will continue to seek corporate backing. It will just be displayed in a different way going forward. The short contract extension of another single year was a mutual decision as both sides begin work on a new framework for future marketing campaigns.

“This is something we’ve been exploring for a while,” said Steve Phelps, NASCAR’s Chief Operating Officer said, “It’s more to do with this notion that we want to make it easier for sponsors to say yes.”

“The entitlement position, the things that we’re talking about, we’re already requiring of our entitlement partners right now, but we’re talking about broadening it, so it’s not just one company at the top of the pyramid, but it’s multiple categories, multiple companies that will allow us to make it easier.”

“We think there’s greater value, frankly, for the sponsors by doing this, but it will take the next level of collaboration within the industry.”

Steve Phelps and Monster Energy - NASCAR
Steve Phelps and Monster Energy – NASCAR

So what is the future for NASCAR sponsorship? The details haven’t been completely worked out just yet. However, NASCAR is drawing up the idea of bundling sponsorship across multiple viewpoints including the sanctioning body, race tracks, TV and media partners.

In other words, a new entitlement deal could extend beyond the series. It would bring more exposure as that partnership would be grouped with campaigns at the track and on TV.

The “pyramid” comment above tells me that NASCAR won’t have a single entitlement sponsor. Unless they intend to change their name a few times per year. To me, it sounds like they intend to go more in the direction of the NASCAR Cup Series presented by… Which would be much better.

“That’s a journey that we’re going to continue on,” Phelps said. “We have to continue on to make sure our content is as strong as it can be that we’re pushing through the digital and social channels.”

“We need to make sure that we continue to cater to kids and to make sure our millennial audience is happy. We have to continue the gains that we’ve made with our Hispanic fans, which has been significant over the last three years. That journey doesn’t end. And by the way, we have to make sure that we’re nurturing the existing fan base that we’ve had for many, many years. They’re incredibly important.”


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Monster Energy | NASCAR