NASCAR Introduces Premier Partners Of NASCAR Cup Series: Busch Beer, Coca-Cola, GEICO And Xfinity

(Press Release from NASCAR Integrated Marketing Communications)

Historic Transition from Top Series’ Title Sponsorship Includes Four Cornerstone Brands

In a historic shift for the sport, beginning in 2020 NASCAR’s premier series will be known as the NASCAR Cup Series and will feature four cornerstone brands as Premier Partners; Busch Beer, Coca-Cola®, GEICO and Xfinity. 

In addition to the establishment of the Premier Partner positions, this significant shift will provide many strategic benefits to the industry, including greater activation opportunities for brands across the sport. NASCAR’s inaugural grouping of Premier Partners will play a key role in consumer marketing and fan development initiatives moving forward.

“This has been a monumental year for our sport, one highlighted by significant changes in our business model to ensure long-term viability and growth,” said Steve Phelps, NASCAR President. “As we begin this new chapter, we are joined by four incredible brands with deep-rooted histories across all levels of our sport. We are honored to have this elite group represent our NASCAR Cup Series for years to come.” 

The new model includes premium assets for each Premier Partner to engage the most brand-loyal fans in sports throughout the entire season. Premier Partners will collectively own a presence connected to the NASCAR Cup Series Championship Race and NASCAR All-Star Race. Additionally, all four partners will be prominently featured in multiple platforms across the sport, including integrations in broadcast, NASCAR digital and social channels, event entitlements, in-market promotions and at-track activations.

“This new model will provide our Premier Partners with a heightened level of integration and visibility across all aspects of our sport,” said Daryl Wolfe, NASCAR executive vice president and chief sales and operations officer. “Each of these partners have demonstrated their commitment to our brand-loyal fan base and we are excited about how these brands will elevate the NASCAR Cup Series.”

Busch Beer

Busch Beer returned as a NASCAR Official Partner in 2018. The deal provided the beer brand exclusive sponsorship of the Busch Pole Award, a position it will continue to maintain throughout its Premier Partnership. Additionally, Busch Beer will sponsor a NASCAR Cup Series event in 2020.

“We are continuing to evolve our presence in NASCAR because we have a significant connection to its fans and believe in the future of the sport,” said Nick Kelly, vice president partnerships, beer category and community, Anheuser-Busch. “The Premier Partner position strengthens our deep-rooted history in the sport and will provide fans with even more opportunities to enjoy a crisp, cold Busch Beer on race day.”

Anheuser-Busch’s history in NASCAR dates back decades to 1978, when it sponsored the Busch Pole Award. Additionally, Busch Beer was the “Official Beer of NASCAR” from 1988 through 1997. Beginning in 1998, Anheuser-Busch sponsored the Bud Pole Award through its Budweiser brand, which also became the “Official Beer of NASCAR” through 2007.


Coca-Cola has been involved with stock car racing for 50 years and became a NASCAR Official Partner in 1998. As a Premier Partner, Coca-Cola will continue its sponsorship of both NASCAR Troops to the Track and NASCAR Salutes, the portion of the season focused on highlighting industry-wide appreciation of the U.S. Armed Forces. Coca-Cola will also continue to own race entitlements at Charlotte Motor Speedway and Daytona International Speedway. Additionally, Coca-Cola becomes the presenting sponsor of the NASCAR Cup Series regular season championship trophy.  

“Coca-Cola has a long history of successful collaboration with NASCAR and elevating our position to Premier Partner provides even more opportunity to connect fans to unforgettable experiences,” said John Mount, vice president, sports marketing, Coca-Cola North America. “Further integrating our two brands affords Coca-Cola the opportunity to build on our winning formula and contribute to the growth of the sport in the years ahead.”

The agreement further enhances Coca-Cola’s position as the “Official Soft Drink of NASCAR.” A signature part of the brand’s marketing strategy is the Coca-Cola Racing Family – an exclusive group of top drivers representing Coca-Cola who are featured across company advertising, promotions and packaging.  


GEICO’s involvement in NASCAR spans more than a decade and the company became the “Official Insurance Provider of NASCAR” earlier this year. As one of the most fully integrated brands in the sport, GEICO will enhance its existing assets through its Premier Partnership and become the presenting partner of a season phase.

“Our affiliation with NASCAR has been successful over the past decade and expanding our role to Premier Partner was the next logical step,” said Bill Brower, assistant vice president of marketing for GEICO. “Our expanded presence will allow us to further engage the most brand-loyal fans in sports, bolster our effective marketing platform and play a prominent role in the sport in the years ahead.”


Comcast’s Xfinity brand entered the sport with a landmark 10-year partner agreement in 2015, positioned as the title sponsor of the NASCAR Xfinity Series and the “Official Entertainment Partner of NASCAR.” As a Premier Partner, Xfinity will maintain its Xfinity Series sponsorship, central to its NASCAR strategy. Xfinity will also sponsor the Championship 4 elimination race of the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs at Martinsville Speedway. 

“The first five years of our partnership with NASCAR has exceeded our expectations and the season-long national platform has provided increased exposure for the Xfinity brand and allowed us to demonstrate how our products and services enhance the way race fans enjoy this great sport,” said Matt Lederer, vice president of brand partnerships, Comcast. “Given the overwhelming fan reaction and how the industry has embraced the Xfinity brand, we’re thrilled to expand upon that commitment by becoming a Premier Partner of the NASCAR Cup Series, while also continuing to showcase the young stars of the NASCAR Xfinity Series.”

Throughout the past five years, Xfinity has elevated the series “Where Names Are Made,” supporting the introduction of an elimination-style Playoffs, reenergizing the Dash 4 Cash program, reimagining how champions are celebrated at Xfinity Champion’s Day at Universal Orlando Resort and has honored charitable efforts within the industry through its prestigious Comcast Community Champion of the Year Award platform. Xfinity continues to change the way fans access the sport through its Xfinity Stream app, Xfinity X1 video and Xfinity xFi internet.

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  1. What an interesting way to frame fading attendance and cultural relevance.

    To quote “This is Spinal Tap”, maybe the fan base is becoming more selective?

  2. Viva race fan says

    Feel my bills going up .

  3. Trapper Dave says

    “Historic transformation?” It’s “been a monumental year”? “Fan development initiatives”? “At-track activations”? Huh? What? Are those new words and phrases that mean empty seats and low ratings? If someone could translate this corporate marketing mumbo-jumbo, MBA-babble into English I would appreciate it. “At-track activations”; give me a break. The take away for me is that NASCAR was unable to secure a marquee sponsor (example: Winston Cup) and, instead, was forced to cobble together reduced revenue streams from, in this case, four, so-called “Premier Partners”. NASCAR will eventually be broken up into pieces and sold off a la carte because it ran away from the culture and values of its fan base. I stopped watching and following Cup racing almost two decade ago and don’t miss it. Hopefully promoters that run short track asphalt facilities and series’ will keep NASCAR and its big vocabulary elitists at a safe distance.

  4. Well that’s good news. No more identification with a drink known to have negative affects on blood pressure and heart function. True Busch is a foreign owned lesser quality brand losing market share to exploding craft breweries. Xfinity otherwise known as Comcast one of the most hated companies in America and suffering from the latest chord cutting craze. Coke 100% interwoven with American culture but also adjusting to consumers move away from sugary, empty calorie drinks. My favorite Geico. No you can’t insure your home through them or get health insurance, all that is too risky. But you can get car, pet,travel,jewelry and a bunch of other coverage’s that are extremely profitable and who doesn’t love that talking gecko.
    All in all I’d say all these companies are a perfect match for the Nascar Cup Series that we all hope some day will stop hemorrhaging all those older brand loyal fans and figure out how to attract the next generation in large numbers.

  5. trapper dave says:
    NASCAR will eventually be broken up into pieces and sold off a la carte because it ran away from the culture and values of its fan base

    i agree with the overall premise of your post. However, although NASCAR would love to break up the company and sell the pieces off, i dont think those pieces are worth as much as what NASCARs offer price would be and i dont think that there are alot of potential buyers.

  6. This pieces are worthless, and there are no buyers.

    The fanbase is gone, rendering the value of the product far less than what it was many years ago. People, the stands are E-M-P-T-Y. The value of the product and the company providing that product is derived from what people will spend on it. If far few people are spending, the value just isn’t there.

  7. Trapper Dave says

    While I don’t have the exact layout of NASCAR’s corporate structure committed to memory, I do remember reading that several of the speedways NASCAR owns are stand-alone entities, publicly traded and a few of them are generally profitable. I believe that Daytona International is one such example. But those profitable sub-parts to the NASCAR family are the exception, not the rule. Unprofitable parts of NASCAR will spin off at fire sale prices or just rot and die on the vine as “darealgoodfella” suggests. There was a report some months ago that NASCAR retained Goldman Sachs for the purpose of selling parts of its overall business. I am unaware of an update to that reporting. In any event, legacy institutions that abandon the values of their fan base like NASCAR has don’t die abruptly; they die over time. They shrink, the meat is eaten off their bones before, ultimately, they morph into something that is unrecognizable to its former fans and supporters. That is, in my view, how I see NASCAR — especially its Cup series.

  8. Trapper Dave,
    The issue with people comparing the current series sponsor deals with Winston is they are not familiar with how the tobacco companies had to market themselves. Winston, Marlboro, and all the other tobacco companies did not spend a ton of money on racing because they loved it, it was because they really had no other outlet to market themselves. Besides racing and a few tennis tournaments, no one was really going to take the tobacco money. Because that, essentially all of “big time” racing was propped up by tobacco advertising for close to 30 years. It was just not NASCAR, but CART\Indycar, Formula One, Sport cars, drag racing, motorcycle racing etc were all taking in insane amounts for money for quite a while. This was between series sponsors, team sponsors, race, sponsors, giving tracks money for signage, and also giving away LOTS of free tickets to fans. Once the tobacco money was gone, the major racing series were left to go after sponsors who had a 100 different ways to market themselves, so they were not going to dump everything they had into mortorsports

  9. Is NASCAR doing anything right? How about NBC Gold Track Pass? I just signed up for the roots portion that includes the full NWMT and other series for 20 bucks. No more fanschoice but so what. For a small charge now we can see it on the big TV and don’t have to worry about black outs.
    Many other choices as well depending on your interests in racing.
    You can paint the withering flagship Cup series in the harshest terms and you probably would be understating it. Other parts I’m sure are not doing well either. They do seem to be looking to the future however in monetizing content and making it available to a huge audience on a pay per view bases. Maybe that Iowa date that everyone seems to think is a mistake is part of the new landscape in pay per view.
    That doesn’t appear to be a dinosaur looking to roll over and die to me.

  10. Cup racing has become boring. It shows in attendance, when was the last time that there were empty seats at Bristol? In years past you had at least a 5 year wait, now tickets are available on race day. If you noticed, you don’t see many shots of the stands on TV like in years past. How did NASCAR try to fix this? They made the cup cars slower than the Xfinity cars at most tracks. I don’t see this new sponsorship deal fixing any of the current problems, and predict allot of empty seats in 2020.

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