How about Donzi
NASCAR may be looking for a new title sponsor come the 2004 racing season.WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- The Winston Cup in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series may be gone after 2003.
The R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company said it has talked with NASCAR about the possibility of the sanctioning body finding another company to become the title sponsor of stock-car racing's top division.
Last July, RJR signed a five-year agreement to continue as the backer of the Winston Cup Series. But times have changed, said Ned Leary, president of Sports Marketing Enterprises, the arm of RJR that handles NASCAR sponsorship.
"Since that time, our business dynamics have changed dramatically," Leary said. "In our ongoing conversations with NASCAR, we have discussed the potential of their exploring a new series sponsor at some time in the future."
The news is a bombshell in the NASCAR world.
RJR has been the title sponsor since 1971, when the company came into the sport as manufacturers were leaving. Many have considered Winston to be a saving grace to NASCAR, establishing a points fund and pumping millions of dollars into the sport.
Winston Cup has become synonymous with NASCAR in the years since. Last week, Winston announced an increase in its season-ending points fund to $17 million, with the Winston Cup champion getting $4.25 million.
But on Jan. 6, perhaps a sign of things to come, RJR announced it was discontinuing the No Bull 5 program that could have handed out a $1 million bonus to a driver and fan at one of five selected races.
R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Holdings Inc., the parent company of RJR, announced last week losses in the fourth quarter of 2002. The company lost $59 million in the final three months, as opposed to an $89 million profit in the same span of 2001.
The company blamed increased spending on promotions on the losses, saying it needed to spend more to compete with other tobacco companies both large and small.
The company also had a $224 million restructuring charge for the elimination of 635 jobs and the proposed sale of two businesses, according to the Winston-Salem Journal.
RJR also had a loss in the first quarter of 2002, and profits for the entire year were down compared to 2001.
Reynolds Holdings stock was down .49 to 41.65 Wednesday, a decline of 1.16 percent.
Leary set no timetable for when Winston could leave the sport.
"We have always worked with NASCAR and others to do what was in the best interest of this great sport," Leary said. "As the series sponsor, we will continue our work to grow this sport."
Last week, NASCAR lost another long-time sponsor when ConocoPhillips, owner of the 76 gasoline brand, announced it would not return next year as the official provider of fuel.
How about Donzi
That's a good one Indy...
Maybe then they could kiss and make-up.
..if they ever get that straightened out.. they could be the next great motorsport.....
You guys CRACK me up! Maybe RJR could put 1/3 of that money into Offshore Racing and the RACERS would actually get paid!
hey how about letting the teams pay for it all like boatracing. Then let the host city pay NASCAR.
Now that is a good idea Jeff. See how long NASCAR stays around if it were run like Offshore.
Hell...if NASCAR has no sponsors will that mean that SpeedVision will bring back some Offshore racing and stop airing NASCAR 24/7!!!
Money can't buy happiness, but it can buy horsepower. And I've never seen a sad person hauling a$$!
was just kidding Shane. But I could get along with less NASCAR and more boat racing on Speed channel.
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