Telecom company Verizon has been officially confirmed today as the sponsor of the IndyCar Series and will thus become the Verizon IndyCar Series.
Verizon replaces IZOD, which sponsored the series from 2010-13.
“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.”
Verizon first ventured into IndyCar racing in 2009 sponsoring Team Penske pilot Will Power for a handful of races and joined Power when he entered the series full time for Penske in 2010. Power has been a front runner in the series since that time and has put the Verizon car in victory lane 17 times. Verizon also expanded their partnership with Penske this season by sponsoring Juan Montoya in a handful of races and Helio Castroneves in the Grand Prix of Indianapolis.
The sponsorship deal for the series is $10 million a year for 10 years.
For the series itself, this gives the series a boost as the series struggles to get in the mainstream, which is something Mark Miles, CEO of Hulman and Co. the parent company of IndyCar acknowledged.
“It’s a huge day for IndyCar. I think of this day as a game‑changer for IndyCar, for the series, for our fans, the teams, our drivers. In a real sense I think it represents a kind of confirmation of the strategies we’ve put into place and where we intend to take the sport and is the beginning of the next phase of IndyCar’s growth.”
As far as activations go, Verizon already has been a key partner in IndyCar since 2009. The company developed an app that allows mobile customers to keep track of live timing and scoring and has produced several IndyCar related commercials.
As part of their newfound deal with the series, Verizon also plans to implement its LTE Multicast solution at racetracks in the future. 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.
While success may not happen overnight for Verizon and IndyCar, getting a title sponsor with the platform of Verizon is a step in the right direction. It is the steps forward that are key to determine the success for both parties.