Monster Energy Reportedly Replacing Sprint as NASCAR's Premier Series Sponsor

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistDecember 1, 2016

AVONDALE, AZ - NOVEMBER 11: Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Monster Energy/Haas Automation Chevrolet, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Can-Am 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 11, 2016 in Avondale, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Monster Energy is set to replace Sprint as the main sponsor for NASCAR's top series, Bob Pockrass of ESPN.com reported Thursday.

The Sprint Cup Series has featured the best drivers in the sport, with Jimmie Johnson winning his seventh career title in November.

It has also been known as the Nextel Cup Series and Winston Cup Series in the past.

Sprint first became the sponsor after its 2005 merger with Nextel, which signed a 10-year agreement with NASCAR in 2004. The name officially changed to the Sprint Cup Series in 2008.

While the company signed an extension in 2011, it announced two years ago it would not continue the partnership past 2016.

"Sprint has long benefitted from the unprecedented level of brand integration available in NASCAR, and the passionate fanbase that is the most loyal in sports," Sprint vice president of marketing Steve Gaffney said, per NASCAR.com. "Without question, the NASCAR sponsorship property has been a valuable investment for us and will be for our successor."

Monster Energy will take over after turning a $546 million profit in 2015, per Pockrass.

Darren Rovell of ESPN.com noted the numbers are a bad sign for NASCAR:

Darren Rovell @darrenrovell

No bigger evidence of NASCAR's decline than new Monster title sponsor deal, worth 2.5X less annually than last deal https://t.co/veKj1aRdKW

Conversely, Tom Jensen of Fox Sports argued the youth movement could be valuable: "Monster could add a whole new level of excitement into this sport at a time and a point in history when it really needs it."

Monster has sponsored drivers Kyle and Kurt Busch.


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