NASCAR's Nationwide Series will have a new name after the 2014 season.
The insurance company announced Wednesday that it will relinquish title sponsorship of the series after seven years but remain as an official NASCAR partner through 2017. It also will continue to develop marketing programs in the Sprint Cup Series.
"The NASCAR Nationwide Series is a great proving ground not only for drivers and crew members but for sponsors, too," Nationwide chief marketing officer Matt Jauchius said in a news release. "We're proud of the success Nationwide Insurance has attained through our relationships with NASCAR and the Nationwide Series. It's a natural evolution for Nationwide Insurance to move our marketing investment to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, and we'll continue to put tremendous effort behind all of our NASCAR marketing platforms in the years to come."
NASCAR's No. 2 series, which was sponsored by Anheuser-Busch from 1982 to 2007, will begin a search for a new partner.
"As a series entitlement sponsor and savvy marketer, Nationwide Insurance has been an ideal partner to our sport and we're proud to have them continue to be part of our family of official NASCAR partners," NASCAR chief marketing officer Steve Phelps said. "The company has been highly successful in using our sport as a platform to enhance its brand and drive its business and has stated publicly how much value they glean as a series sponsor. The fact that Nationwide will continue its investment across our sport -- in a variety of ways and for many years to come -- is encouraging and speaks to the power of NASCAR as a marketing platform."
Nationwide also has endorsement deals with Sprint Cup drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr., Danica Patrick and Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
"Nationwide Insurance will look to build a more consistent presence in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series enabling its message to reach an even larger NASCAR audience," NASCAR said in a statement.
Sprint is signed as a title sponsor of the Cup series through the 2016 season.