As most have heard by now, the DISH Network has made a bid to purchase the Sprint-Nextel Corporation for $25.5 billion. Originally, Sprint was going to be sold to the SoftBank Corporation, which is located in Japan. The move could mean numerous things for NASCAR, whose top-tier series is sponsored by Sprint.
In 2003, NASCAR’s title sponsor, Winston, announced they couldn’t come up with an agreement with NASCAR to re-sign the long time title sponsor for the sport’s most competitive circuit. The next year, Nextel purchased the naming right and became known as the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series. Besides being the title sponsor, they also brought new changes for the sport.
Overall, the move helped NASCAR modernize to what it has become today.
Once Sprint bought out Nextel, and the series became known as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in 2008. The two sides have an agreement spanning until the 2016 season. Previously, Sprint sponsored Kyle Petty in the early 2000′s before becoming the title sponsor of NASCAR’s top series.
Since they became the sponsor of NASCAR, Sprint had purchased the naming rights to the All-Star race and more recently, Speedweeks at Daytona, including the Sprint Unlimited. Until this year, they also sponsored the NASCAR Pit Crew challenge.
Dish Network has sponsored NASCAR in the past and has felt the advantages of what it can do for their company. The company sponsored Roush-Fenway Racing several years back with Greg Biffle, Matt Kenseth and Carl Edwards in the NASCAR Nationwide Series and what was the Nextel Cup Series.
Just think about it for a minute: the NASCAR Dish Network Series. It may seem awkward at first, but eventually it can catch on.
However, the company may want to conclude several things such as the Sprint Fan View, which has been a hit at the race track. They could also do the opposite and use their resources to help expand their brand as well as NASCAR’s by restarting the pit crew challenge.
Joseph Wolkin can be followed on Twitter at @JosephNASCAR.