IRL: Indy Racing and Northern Light end partnership

INDIANAPOLIS, Monday, Jan. 7, 2002 - Northern Light Technology and the Indy Racing League ended a partnership Jan. 7 that concluded the company's sponsorship of the League's premier series after two seasons. In January 2000, Northern Light...

INDIANAPOLIS, Monday, Jan. 7, 2002 - Northern Light Technology and the Indy Racing League ended a partnership Jan. 7 that concluded the company's sponsorship of the League's premier series after two seasons.

In January 2000, Northern Light signed a five-year agreement to sponsor the Indy Racing Northern Light Series. Fundamental changes in the economy and the financial markets forced Northern Light to re-evaluate its business plan in late 2000. At that time, the company ended all of its sponsorship activity except for its Indy Racing League program, which it continued for another year.

"Northern Light played an important role in the progress the Indy Racing League made in 2000 and 2001," said Tony George, president and CEO of the Indy Racing League. "These have been our best years yet and have prepared us for future growth. We understand the business challenges Northern Light has been facing, and we admire the positive way it has responded to those challenges."

Through the partnership, Northern Light CEO David Seuss and the company have been enthusiastic partners with the Indy Racing League. Northern Light was aggressive in working with other League and team sponsors to cross-promote the series and their products.

"David Seuss continues to be one of the League's best advocates, and we are very appreciative of his personal role in telling our story," George said.

Seuss said his company's involvement with the Indy Racing league significantly raised the brand awareness of Northern Light Technology, the developer of the award-winning search engine www.NorthernLight.com <www.NorthernLight.com> and a leading provider of enterprise search solutions.

"During our tenure as title sponsor, Indy Racing has proven itself to be the undisputed leader in open-wheel professional racing in the United States," Seuss said. "The IRL formula for leveling the playing field, controlling costs and promoting fan access has worked across the board. Northern Light has been proud to contribute to the momentum and growth of the series, and we are saddened by the necessity to scale back our involvement.

"Everyone at Northern Light appreciates the hard work that the IRL put into making our sponsorship a success, and we appreciate the accommodation the IRL has shown in response to the environment that has developed for Internet companies. The IRL is clearly better positioned now than it was in late 1999 when we started talking to the folks at Indy Racing, and a new title sponsor will be joining a series that is riding a wave of success into the future."

Indy Racing League officials are discussing sponsorship opportunities with several companies. A series sponsorship may not be in place until 2003.

"Strengthened partnerships with General Motors, Firestone, Infiniti and the fact Marlboro, Red Bull and Hollywood have recently chosen the Indy Racing League as a marketing platform proves interest in the series has never been higher," George said. "But, it is more important for the series to find the right long-term partner than it is to simply have a title sponsor for next season. We're set to continue moving forward."

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About this article
Series Automotive , IndyCar
Drivers David Seuss , Tony George