Published on June 6th, 2008 | by Michael J Smith0
Penske No. 12 Dodge May Lose Alltel Sponsorship
SceneDaily is reporting that Penske Racing’s No. 12 Alltel Dodge could lose its sponsorship if Verizon acquires Alltel.
Apparently, AT&T and NASCAR reached an agreement that allowed the company to keep its logos on the car, until it leaves the sport at the end of this season.
NASCAR sent a letter to Penske a few years ago, when Verizon was first rumored to be buying Alltel, reiterating that if the company’s name changes, it can no longer continue its sponsorship in the Sprint Cup series.
In 2006, NASCAR amended its agreement with Nextel to prohibit it from allowing Cingular or Alltel to keep its sponsorship under the brand of a prohibited competitor. Verizon is a prohibited competitor.
Ramsey Poston, NASCAR spokesman, said:
When Nextel became the title sponsor, we notified all teams that existing competing sponsorships could stay in the series indefinitely so long as there was no change in branding. This is the case with the Alltel brand – it can stay on the car indefinitely but if it transitions to Verizon or any competing company then it can no longer run a different sponsor on any car in the [Cup Series].
It will come down to whether or not Verizon does away with the Alltel name.
But, in the end, if the company decides to eliminate the Alltel brand, then it could take the battle to court, like AT&T did. Will it win? I’m not really sure, but it’s likely that they could reach some sort of agreement, since NASCAR did it before.
Of course, this all hinges on whether or not Verizon wants to be in the sport. My guess is they do, since they have sponsored a Nationwide car this year.