NASCAR has issued an official statement that claims it will not be affected by the sale of Sprint to a Japanese company. Softbank has bought 70 percent of Sprint for $20.1 billion, but NASCAR insists that this will not have an impact on the company's sponsorship of the Sprint Cup. Changes may not occur this season or in 2013, but the organization may be making unfair assumptions about its future.
NASCAR Issues a Statement on the Sprint Sale
After the news emerged that Japan's Softbank acquired 70 percent of Sprint, NASCAR released a statement from Steve Phelps. He explained, "As our premier series entitlement sponsor, Sprint has been successful using our sport as a platform to enhance its brand during its nine years in the sport. NASCAR fans have rewarded Sprint with their business and loyalty, and we don't expect that to change." NASCAR believes that the company's changes will not have an impact on sponsorship. Fans and critics have argued that it may be too soon to tell how the buyout will affect the organization in the future.
The Reality of Change
NASCAR has a contract with Sprint that is set to last through 2016, and there has been no indication that the company plans to make any immediate changes. As the title sponsor of the Sprint Cup, Sprint has become an integral part of the promotions surrounding the sport. Softbank is likely to follow a timeline similar to other company takeovers and gradually make changes. It is estimated that major modifications begin to occur six months after a takeover.
The current CEO of Sprint, Dan Hesse, will stay in the same position despite the acquisition from Softbank. The company has not made any announcements about its future role with NASCAR. The Sprint Cup has gone through several sponsorship name changes over the years including Winston and Nextel. NASCAR may not have any options except to wait and see if Sprint will continue to be interested in the sport in the future. The contract extension through 2016 buys the organization some time before it has to become concerned about finding a new title sponsor.
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Growing up in Indiana, Lana developed a love for motorsports at an early age. She follows NASCAR, IndyCar and Formula One. Follow @Lana_Bandoim on Twitter.