New name announced for NASCAR’s Premier Series

Just 61 days before the Clash kicks off the 2016 season at Daytona, NASCAR’s top series finally and officially has a new name.

At 4 p.m. ET, NASCAR announced that the new series will be called the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.

Earlier this month in Las Vegas, NASCAR and Monster Energy announced that Monster would replace Sprint as the Premier Series title sponsor. At the time the deal was announced, terms were not disclosed.

“They’re a fun brand,” France said of Monster Energy. “They get at a millennial audience in a different way clearly than we’ve ever been associated with, particularly at this level, and they know what they’re doing. This is their DNA.”

The Sports Business Daily reported that Monster would be paying NASCAR $20 million annually for the entitlement sponsorship, with a reported length of the contract being two years, with options for two additional years.

NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France subsequently refuted the SBD report, telling SIRIUS/XM Radio. “We have a good understanding about where this relationship is going to be. So no, those are not accurate numbers. We’ll work on that.”

France did not, however, provide details on the terms of the deal.

The Sports Business Daily had reported in 2015 that NASCAR was looking for a $1 billion deal over 10 years, and that Sprint, the Premier Series title sponsor from 2004-2016, had initially paid $75 million annually, with that amount dropping to $50 million per year near the end of the contract.

Bringing in a company like Monster that specializes in the youth market makes a lot of sense at a time when NASCAR is going all-out to attract the coveted younger demographic in a sport that right now has an older fan base.

“Fashion is set by a small group of influencers,” said Mark Hall, Monster Energy’s chief marketing officer. “The challenge is to make your product relevant to that group and then have them influence the others. If we’ve been successful in the past, we’ve followed that model. I think we have a lot of drinkers in the current NASCAR fan base. I think we can make the sport more interesting to some younger consumers, as well.”

“Our new NASCAR mark is modern, timeless, and embraces the heritage of our sport,” said Jill Gregory, NASCAR senior vice president and chief marketing officer. “It was important for us to recognize our history and implement a piece of each previous mark in the new design. Our goal was to evolve the sport’s visual identity to make it concise, relevant and functional, while respecting and maintaining the unique qualities of the original mark.”