Communications giant will take over from failed sponsor IZOD
IndyCar has seen a very tumultuous decade as interest in the sport has waned thanks to the split of CART and other background foolishness. But, things are looking bright for the series, as the sport will receive some very heavy backing.
Starting this year, Verizon will be title sponsor for the series and provide additional technical services and assistance to enhance races for teams and fans. The deal is rumoured to be worth $100 million (USD) over the next ten years.
Full press release below.
VERIZON NAMED ENTITLEMENT SPONSOR OF INDYCAR SERIES
INDIANAPOLIS (March 14, 2014) – INDYCAR announced today a multi-year entitlement agreement with Verizon that will see North America’s premier open-wheel racing championship named the Verizon IndyCar Series.
The partnership aligns INDYCAR – the fastest, most versatile motorsports series with a heritage of innovation – with Verizon, whose technical expertise will be utilized to activate programs that will benefit fans, the series, teams, commercial partners and race venues.
Verizon will also continue its sponsorship of the Verizon P1 Award presented to the Verizon IndyCar Series pole winner at each race.
“Verizon is delighted to become the title sponsor of the Verizon IndyCar Series and to bring even more of our innovative technology to the fans, to the teams and to the entire motorsports community,” said Dan Mead, president and CEO of Verizon Wireless. “The intersection of racing and technology has never been more relevant, and our expanded partnership with INDYCAR provides a unique opportunity to demonstrate that synergy, integrate new services like LTE Multicast and help propel the sport forward.”
INDYCAR and Verizon will engage in a multi-dimensional partnership linking sports, entertainment and technology beginning at the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, which kicks off the 18-race season March 30 (3 p.m. ET on ABC).
“Verizon is the perfect partner for us to showcase the high level of innovation and technology that is inherent in our sport,” said Mark Miles, CEO, Hulman & Co., the parent of INDYCAR and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. “INDYCAR will provide a large audience of tech-savvy consumers who are eager for the latest technology to further enhance their experience.”
“Verizon’s commitment to INDYCAR demonstrates its belief in the direction of our sport and further corroborates our long-term goals.”
The collaboration includes significant network coverage upgrades to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as part of its Project 100; short- and long-term technology enhancements to INDYCAR Race Control; the addition of pit lane monitors and enhancing connectivity for spectators at each domestic race venue.
Verizon will also deploy its LTE Multicast solution at racetracks in the future, complementing the Verizon INDYCAR 14 app and indycar.com, the official website of INDYCAR. This emerging technology delivers rich multi-faceted multimedia content to multiple devices at once rather than sending it in a separate stream to each user.
Verizon has been an Official Partner of INDYCAR the past four years and the primary sponsor of the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske car driven by Will Power. The relationship with the team owned by Roger Penske will expand for the 2014 season as Verizon also will be the primary sponsor of the No. 2 entry driven by 1999 CART champion and 2000 Indianapolis 500 winner Juan Pablo Montoya for at least eight races.
The Verizon IndyCar Series season opens on March 30 (3 p.m. ET, ABC) in St. Petersburg where James Hinchcliffe, driving for Andretti Autosport, returns to defend his title on the scenic but challenging 1.8-mile temporary street course, while reigning series champion Scott Dixon of Target Chip Ganassi Racing seeks a fast start to earn his record-tying fourth title.
The schedule features a total of 18 races: 12 on road and street courses, including three sets of doubleheaders, with standing and rolling starts; and six races on a variety of short ovals and superspeedways, highlighted by the 98th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race. The “Greatest Spectacle in Racing” will be held on May 25 (12 pm ET, ABC) on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s historic 2.5-mile oval.
In each of the past eight consecutive seasons the Verizon IndyCar Series championship hasn’t been decided until the season finale. The 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series season concludes with the MAVTV 500 on the two-mile Auto Club Speedway oval Aug. 30 (9 p.m. ET, NBCSN).