Mark Miles, CEO of Hulman & Company which runs IMS and IndyCar, says the new deal with NBC will see the series working together with the broadcaster for marketing purposes, including the quest for a title sponsor.
Following IndyCar’s confirmation that from 2019 it will be broadcast exclusively on NBC and NBC Sports, as the ESPN/ABC deal ends, Miles and NBC Sports Group president of programming Jon Miller said they would work together on marketing opportunities.
This is of particular significance since IndyCar’s title sponsor Verizon will not be renewing its five year-deal at season’s end, although Motorsport.com sources suggest the company has signed a new multi-year contract with Team Penske.
Miles said of IndyCar’s three-year deal with NBC: “At the highest level, obviously more people watching means more value and more attractiveness for IndyCar in the marketplace for sponsorship and licensing and merchandising and everything else.
“At the more micro or operating level, I think we have a great opportunity with NBC to really integrate our approach to the market and to sales. I think there will be companies that are prospective series sponsors that NBC has great relationships with. We ought to be able to go to them with an integrated package of both advertising and series sponsorship.
“Conversely, perhaps there are companies we're talking to already that we'd really like to see invest in NBC and its programming, as well as being considered for title sponsorship.
“An integrated approach, taking advantage of each of our relationships, I think is going to bode well for us.”
Miller added: “I think IndyCar just skyrocketed to the top of the properties you could be a title sponsor of because of all the continuity, the marketing, all the promotion that will be associated with it. An advertiser that's looking to put their name and brand on this kind of environment would have to seriously consider looking at IndyCar.
“The best example of that is our track record with other properties where we've had similar success. Some of the best examples of that are the long relationships we've had with the FedExCup on the PGA Tour and what Xfinity does on the Xfinity Series on the NASCAR circuit.
“We understand what's important to title sponsors and we aim to over-deliver throughout all the different platforms and make sure that they get more than the bang for their buck. We will definitely be joined at the hip as we go out and try to do this.”
Eight of IndyCar’s races will be broadcast on NBC, although it has not yet been decided which races fall into that category.
However, Miller confirmed that qualifying sessions would get airtime.
He stated: “Our goal is to show qualifying from every stop on a linear platform on NBCSN. We'll show some IndyCar qualifying, Indy 500 qualifying on NBC, as well.
“Everything that's shown on a linear platform, whether it's NBCSN or NBC, whether it's races or qualifying, will also be streamed on NBCSports.com and on the NBC Sports app on an authenticated basis. All of that content will be out there.”