IZOD to Become Title Sponsor of IRL IndyCar Series

Enrique MoralesContributor INovember 3, 2009

INDIANAPOLIS - MAY 24:  Scott Dixon (left) driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Dallara Honda and his teamate Dario Franchitti come out of the pits ahead of Helio Castroneves during the IRL IndyCar Series 93rd running of the Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on May 24, 2009 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)
Robert Laberge/Getty Images

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

The words of Charles Dickens flawlessly summarize the year 2009 for the premier open-wheel league of North America.

A storybook ending to the Indianapolis 500 with Hélio Castroneves taking his third triumph was overshadowed by unrest among the speedway's governing body.

A career year for star Danica Patrick was buried underneath rumors of her departing to NASCAR.

A victory for the underdogs in Ed Carpenter's second place at Kentucky was met with speculation that his team, Vision Racing, would not return in 2010.

It seemed that for every action, there was an equal and opposite reaction.

Finally, though, the struggling series has something positive on its plate: a title sponsor.

On Thursday, IZOD will announce their increased involvement in the IndyCar Series as they take the premier sponsorship position for one of America's oldest sports.

The clothing brand entered the sport in the summer of 2008, partnering with driver Ryan Hunter-Reay just in time for his win at the Watkins Glen circuit.

Last season, IZOD become an official sponsor of the IRL, promoting the series with commercials and a new line of IndyCar-related clothing.

The series will be re-branded as the IZOD IndyCar Series starting with the next season.  The deal is expected to last for five seasons, ending after the 2014 championship has been decided.

Perhaps, then, the words of Dickens will ring true this off-season, and 2010 will be the season of light for the IndyCar Series rather than the winter of despair that many expected.

(Note: italicized text has been taken from page one of A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens).