For at least a couple of years running, Terry Angstad has told us after each season that the IndyCar Series was close to inking a deal with a title sponsor. The problem is that deal never materialized. The rumor recently was that IZOD was being sought after to be the title sponsor for 2010 and beyond, and that they were close to inking a deal. Call me a skeptic, but I wasn’t buying it. Sure, I believed that the league was working towards a deal, but I wasn’t going to be convinced that the deal was going to happen until I saw the press release. Well, there hasn’t been a press release yet, that will come in an announcement at the Speedway on Thursday, but we now have the next best thing: word from Curt Cavin. In a story released early this morning at the Indianapolis Star by Curt, its been confirmed that the contract has been signed, its done, and this thing is FINALLY going to happen! This is fantastic news for the series. Sure IZOD isn’t the type of sponsor that gets petrol-heads like us all jazzed up, but we’re already watching, aren’t we. Bringing on IZOD gives the league a chance to reach out to a new fan base and attract new viewers by having a sponsor that has appeal beyond motorsports. IZOD was the official apparel of the league last year, and was a personal sponsor for Ryan Hunter-Reay, and they invested heavily in advertising, even though they only had one ad, they ran it over and over. …yes, ad nauseum for those of us who watched the races. Long story short, IZOD will likely be a good and active partner for the league.
Here’s the deal as I’ve heard it so far. When this was still being speculated, Curt Cavin and Kevin Lee discussed what the potential financials of the deal were likely to be on their weekly radio show, Trackside. BTW, if you’re not already listening to this show, you should be. Go to 1070thefan.com or iTunes right now and subscribe. I’ll wait. ….done? ok. The numbers that they mentioned, and that Curt eluded to in his article this morning, was $10M per year for five years to be split between the league, Versus and ABC, the teams. The teams may get something on the order of $100k per year per car. To many this might not sound like a lot, and it isn’t, but its not insignificant either. $100k is salary for at least a couple of full-time employees. That’s going to be welcome money by any operation, but especially the smaller teams like HVM, Coyne, and Panther. Ryan Hunter-Reay will likely get additional cash in an effort to find him a full-time ride for 2010. Personally, I find it appalling that this kid doesn’t already have a full-time ride, but that’s for another post.
All in all, this is great news for the beleaguered series. Having a title sponsor that is very willing to activate its sponsorship and help promote the series as well as providing desperately needed cash goes a long way toward improving the health of the league. Lets just hope they start turning out some new commercials.