Verizon was a NASCAR partner for two years and it is leaving because the current contract with the series ended with the 2010 season. According to Verizon and NASCAR, the main decision behind a new contract not being signed is rival's Sprint involvement with the top NASCAR series as a main partner.
"Regardless of the category, it's always bad for a property to lose a major brand," said Dan Richlen, vice president and group account director at Wunderman, told NASCAR.
"This is another leading indicator that everyone needs to stay focused and find better return for sponsors because at the end of the day, if there were enough return, Verizon would be here in spades."
Verizon will be sponsoring Penske Racing's No. 12 car in IndyCar and driver Will Power. Its involvement with Penske dates back to 2008, when Verizon acquired Alltel, and with it, the sponsorship program with Alltel had with the team.
In IndyCar, Verizon will be a major player, as it will be category leader on the one side and continue to be a partner for Penske on the other.
"The overall thinking is focus," Suzy Deering, executive director of media and sponsorships at Verizon Wireless, was quoted as saying by the source. "It's about maximizing what we have, elevating our brand and reaching our consumers."