Maybe the IndyCar title sponsor announcement is close. Reaaaaallllllly close! According to Trackside Online the IRL has called a press conference for next Thursday (November 5th). Clearly, there are a lot of issues up in the air right now, but TSO is sensing that this will be the title sponsor announcement.
Right now, us IndyCar fanboys are waiting to hear on a title sponsor, on the 2012 chassis decision, on the 2012 engine decision and on the 2010 race in Brazil. It would be beyond staggering if the IRL would come out on Thursday and let us know good news on all said fronts.
Clearly that is wishful thinking. The IRL is just about as good at telegraphing their punches as Glass Jaw Joe from the NES classic Punchout. I can’t recall an IRL press conference in the last decade that was a surprise. In the next couple of days, we will find out everything about the Thursday press conference.
Hopefully we will get a plethora of IndyCar happiness on Thursday with announcements of title sponsors, Brazil races, multiple chassis manufacturers and an open engine formula. Clearly though, if there were anything like that on the horizon, then we would know all about it by now.
At this point, all signs point to IZOD. We had an article up about that yesterday, including some of the reported terms of the deal. This would be a huge win for the beleaguered IRL, with nothing but bad news coming out about the TV package over the last few months. Given that the viewership is way down (by 29%) from last year and that DirecTV still hasn’t let Versus back on their feed, I can only imagine that Terry Angstadt didn’t get all the money he was hoping for.
As we have seen in the past, having a sponsor is one thing, but having one that will actively promote your series is an entirely different situation. I’m looking at you Northern Lights and Pep Boys. IZOD spent somewhere close to 6 million dollars this year on IndyCar related advertising. That probably is 10 times more than Pep Boys and Northern Lights spent over the entire course of their deals with the IRL.
Keep it here at Open Paddock for updates on this situation. We might have to wait until Thursday for all the details, but I doubt it sincerely.