NASCAR rebrands Nationwide Series as Xfinity Series for 2015
It’s official: NASCAR’s No. 2 series is changing its name and from at least 2015-2024 will be known as the Xfinity Series.
The announcement was made Wednesday afternoon at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Uptown Charlotte, N.C.
Xfinity, a division of Comcast that specializes in cable television, Internet and telephone service, replaces Nationwide, which began as the series’ title sponsor in 2008, with its run concluding at the end of this season. Xfinity also will serve as NASCAR’s official partner in the programming and ISP categories.
Although terms of the 10-year Xfinity agreement were not disclosed, the Sports Business Journal reported the value of the deal to be about $200 million.
NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France said the partnership was a natural fit.
"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 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. So we’re excited about the future."
"Technology lives at the heart of NASCAR, just as it does for Xfinity," said Dave Watson, executive vice president and chief operating officer for Comcast Cable. "NASCAR provides an exciting environment in which to showcase our video and Internet products, and we look forward to further enhancing the fan experience at home, at the track and on the go for years to come."
France said the addition of Xfinity as a partner would be a positive from the technology side.
"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," said France. "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."
NASCAR’s No. 2 series as a long and rich history, dating back to the 1950s, when it was known as the Sportsman Division. Anheuser-Busch became the series’ first title sponsor in 1982, with its Busch brand taking over what in 1986 was renamed the Busch Grand National Series. The "Grand National" was dropped in 2003, and through the 2007 season, it was known simply as the Busch Series.
Nationwide replaced Busch from 2008 on. Next year, the insurer will become a primary sponsor of Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet for 12 races and an associate sponsor for the remainder of the schedule. Last month, Nationwide signed a three-year deal to become the official insurance sponsor of the National Football League.