Big sponsor news on Thursday, as UPS has agreed to remain with NASCAR as the sport's official delivery service, and also agreed to remain with Roush-Fenway Racing, albeit in an associate-sponsor capacity, and with a different car.
For the last three seasons, UPS has sponsored the No. 6 Ford of David Ragan. But the sponsor will now switch to the No. 99 of Carl Edwards, where it will be an associate sponsor. UPS will be Edwards' primary sponsor at the Kentucky race.
The significance of the deal is that one of NASCAR's highest-profile partners remains connected to the sport. However, it's worth noting that UPS is one of many major partners scaling down its involvement on a per-race sponsorship level. And UPS is now one of several partners on board with Edwards, including Fastenal, Cheez-Its, Frosted Flakes, and, most likely, Aflac and Subway. (Come on, Carl, share the wealth a bit!)
This, of course, leaves Ragan completely out in the cold. Despite the fact that he has a win this season, he was unable to make the Chase and hasn't been able to put together the kinds of seasons that inspire confidence in sponsors. And since Ragan's teammate Matt Kenseth doesn't have sponsorship yet, and Kenseth is a potential championship contender, it's looking more doubtful that Roush-Fenway will be able to line up sufficient sponsorship for both next year.
Further consolidation, then, among marquee drivers, marquee sponsors and marquee teams. If you're a small team and you haven't locked down a sponsor yet ... time to get rolling.
- David Ragan
- Carl Edwards