XFINITY Series makes its debut in 2015
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – NASCAR’S secondary series has the potential to reach uncharted territory.
On Wednesday, the sanctioning body announced Comcast’s XFINITY will sponsor what is currently the Nationwide tour for the next 10 seasons starting in 2015 and concurrent with the new broadcast collaboration with NBC Sports.
Partnering with the nation's largest video high‑speed internet provider will allow NASCAR new avenues of exposure for the sport.
Our fans can look forward to some interesting things that are going to be delivered on their device, on their television set in ways they never thought possible.
“This is a brand and a company that is all about innovation, all about delivering something from an experience standpoint in the very space we want to, which is connecting with our fans,” said NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France.
“The idea that we get to do this together and we have the overarching partnership with Comcast, that's a lot of incentive. Our fans can look forward to some interesting things that are going to be delivered on their device, on their television set in ways they never thought possible.”
France also appreciates the opportunity to expand NASCAR’s reach with a company such as Comcast which can disseminate its message through a variety of outlets.
“They're leading their industry with both distribution and technology, video, being the lead internet provider,” France said. “That's exactly what we're trying to do at NASCAR in a different way. We're trying to embrace technology and innovation wherever we can to either lower costs or make the experience for our fans a better one.
“So the idea that this relationship met that criteria is a pretty easy decision at the end of the day, and we're thrilled to be partners with XFINITY.
XFINITY will also become an official NASCAR partner in both the multichannel video programming distributor and broadband ISP categories.
Although NASCAR entertained several potential sponsors, XFINITY provided the best upside. The attraction was mutual.
You can't talk about NASCAR without talking about the fans. This is really a committed group of passionate and loyal fans.
Peter Intermaggio, Comcast
According Peter Intermaggio, Comcast SVP of marketing communications, the choice was three-fold. Live sports and its delivery is an integral part of the XFINITY brand. Comcast and NASCAR can share in cutting edge technology to increase the coverage of both brands in a beneficial manner. And finally the youthful bent to the series’ drivers can attract new customers to embrace upcoming technological platforms as they emerge.
“We just think NASCAR as a sport, as a cultural phenomenon, is a great venue for live sports,” Intermaggio said. “These fans want to engage anywhere and everywhere. That's what really made NASCAR stand out for us, is the opportunity to partner with NBC Sports, within our family company of Comcast, but also to be able to bring live sports more dramatically to the customer.
Secondly, our X1 entertainment operating system is a tremendous way to experience live sports. We think that NASCAR will be a tremendous demonstration platform for us, to show our products, to show our technology, to let people experience what is different with XFINITY than what they might have with other providers.
The third thing is simply the fan engagement. You can't talk about NASCAR without talking about the fans. This is really a committed group of passionate and loyal fans. We looked at those things, live sport, technology, fan base, and said, this is the place we have to be."
With XFINITY’s reach – to 47 states and Washington D.C. – and its network through parent company Comcast, Nationwide Series standout Regan Smith says the opportunity is “huge to get the brand out.”
“You’re talking a company in XFINITY and Comcast – that’s an absolutely massive media giant,” said Smith, who is currently second in the NNS point standings. “It’s great for NASCAR, it’s great for the now XFINITY series and it’s great for all the drivers involved.”
XFINITY, is just the third sponsor of the series since the tour’s inception in 1982. Anheuser-Busch supported the tour over the first 26 seasons followed by Nationwide Insurance over the last seven years. Smith feels XFINITY will expose a wide audience to the sport.
From a technology standpoint, this is obviously the most natural fit we’ve had for that series or for any series.
“In the last 10 years, (the series) has evolved from the standpoint of seeing different companies coming in…speaking from a technology standpoint, this is obviously the most natural fit we’ve had for that series or for any series. That’s exciting. It will be fun to see what comes of it in the future.
“It reaches a demographic of technologically based consumers whether it’s the young kids – such as the kid coming up through the series - or the little bit more middle age guys such as myself. There are so many more things to be excited about.”