Dec 03, 2011 at 04:03 PM
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Sprint Tacks Three More Years Onto NASCAR Entitlement

Sprint chief executive officer Dan Hesse said Friday during a NASCAR awards ceremony that the KS-based mobile telecommunications giant has extended its agreement with NASCAR through 2016. The original 10-year, $700 million contract between NASCAR and Nextel (acquired by Sprint in 2005) was signed in 2004 and set to expire in 2014.

"I could not be more pleased than to announce and celebrate tonight that Sprint and NASCAR have agreed to an extension of our relationship ensuring that through at least the 2016 season, every champion crowned will be a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion." Hesse said.

Steve Gaffney, the company's vice president for corporate marketing, explained that the renewal wasn't much of a decision.

"I'd say that for us, as we were looking through the negation period, and considering the relationship and the success we've enjoyed over the last eight years ... it probably wasn't an option for us not to do it," he said. "It's too important for us as a brand. It's an incredible relationship. It's a great sport. As you heard from the drivers tonight, their description of the racing, the enthusiasm of the fans, the product of the track -- we couldn't be more proud to be associated with NASCAR, and we look forward to this relationship growing more and more over the coming years."

Sprint CMO Steve Phelps said Sprint's signal of confidence will help NASCAR, and its teams, secure other deals.

"I think it will provide some significant wind at our back and help those teams that are still looking for sponsorship," Phelps said.