With its first street-circuit race set for next year, NASCAR is taking a nontraditional approach to corporate sponsorship for the race, with a founding partner model instead of a title sponsor model, sources said.

The race weekend in Chicago will be July 1-2, 2023. It will include a NASCAR Cup Series race and Xfinity Series race along a 2.2-mile circuit that runs across backdrops such as Grant Park, Columbus Drive and Lake Shore Drive. The street race will come during NASCAR‘s 75th anniversary season.

Sources say that NASCAR has hit the market seeking four founding partners, worth roughly $2 million annually, including ad time with NBC Sports. The three-year commitments sought match up with how long NASCAR‘s deal is with the city of Chicago to hold the race.

NASCAR has found a receptive audience to the pitches and is in active talks with a dozen brands, according to a source close to the sanctioning body. NASCAR is seeking out companies that either are headquartered in the Chicago region or have a major presence in the market. An obvious target, for example, would be McDonald‘s, which is both based in Chicago and is in NASCAR with a sponsorship of Michael Jordan‘s team, 23XI Racing.

The sponsors will each get a certain section of the track that will be completely branded in their colors and logos, like both sides of the walls and any pedestrian bridges. There will be no title sponsor of the race, similar to the NASCAR Cup Series Championship race, which has no title sponsor and divides its sponsorship assets among NASCAR‘s four premier partners: Busch Beer, Coca-Cola, Geico and Xfinity.

Sports Business Journal

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