Comcast to replace Nationwide in '15

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Wednesday, September 3, 2014

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Comcast Corp. on Wednesday signed a 10-year agreement to replace Nationwide Insurance as the title sponsor of NASCAR's second-tier racing series.

The series will be known as the NASCAR Xfinity Series through 2024. The deal matches the longest single agreement around title sponsorship of any NASCAR national series in its history, and Sports Business Daily valued the package at worth close to $200 million.

"One of the things that is especially important to us is live sports," said Peter Intermaggio, senior vice president of Comcast marketing communications. "We know that live sports is important to television viewers everywhere. It's the most important content they can have access to. So we're really excited about participating in sponsoring this incredibly exciting sport that people follow with tremendous passion and intensity, so that's why we're here."

Xfinity, the online video service of Philadelphia-based Comcast, becomes just the third title sponsor in series history. Anheuser-Busch spent 26 years as title sponsor and Nationwide has been sponsor the last 11 but is transitioning into team sponsorship next season.

Nationwide's shift led NASCAR to search for a "partner who was a leader in the category, a company known for integration, and a brand committed to growth," NASCAR chief operating officer Brent Dewar said. "Comcast is a Fortune 500 company, and Xfinity is the nation's largest video high speed internet provider. They are proven innovators, on the cutting edge of the latest technology and a world class entertainment provider. Above all, they're a perfect fit for NASCAR."

The length of the deal matches NASCAR's new 10-year television package that begins next season with Fox and NBC, with its Comcast's sports TV group. As part of the television package, Comcast agreed to spend $10 million marketing and promoting the sport.

Xfinity also becomes an official NASCAR partner in the multichannel video programming distributor and broadband ISP categories.

"Technology is everywhere from the track, to the garage, to the car, to the stats, to the viewing experience," said Intermaggio. "That's where we see tremendous alignment with our brand, what our strategy is about, what we're trying to bring to the viewing experience, really using technology to improve the viewing experience across the board."

Xfinity currently operates in 40 states, and provides cable and broadband services in several cities near NASCAR tracks. Should Comcast receive regulatory approval of a $45 billion merger with Time Warner Cable, Xfinity's reach would be expanded into far more NASCAR markets.

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