INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- IndyCar announced a multi-year agreement with Verizon on Friday that will make the telecommunications giant the title sponsor of the series.
Verizon replaces former title sponsor Izod. Its sponsorship of what will now be known as the Verizon IndyCar Series launches with the March 30 season opening race.
The partnership announced Friday includes network coverage upgrades to Indianapolis Motor Speedway, as well as enhancements to IndyCar's race control and new pit lane monitors. New York-based Verizon, the largest U.S. cellphone carrier, also plans to enhance connectivity for spectators at domestic races.
''Verizon is delighted to become the title sponsor of the 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 has been an ''official partner'' of IndyCar for the past four years, and is the primary sponsor of Will Power's car with Team Penske. Verizon will also sponsor Juan Pablo Montoya in at least eight races this year, and sponsor all three of Team Penske's cars at the inaugural road course race at Indianapolis.
As part of the deal with IndyCar, Verizon will use its LTE Multicast solution at race tracks in the future. It will also complement the Verizon IndyCar '14 app and indycar.com, the series' website.
''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 IMS. ''IndyCar will provide a large audience of tech-savvy consumers who are eager for the latest technology to further enhance their experience.''
Verizon joins rival Sprint as sponsor of a major auto racing series. Sprint is the title sponsor for NASCAR's top Sprint Cup Series.