The 2015 NASCAR season wasn’t just about hitting important metrics, though the sport did precisely that.
As NASCAR Chief Operating Officer Brent Dewar noted on Wednesday at the SportBusiness Journal’s Daytona Rising/NASCAR Motorsports Marketing Forum, the 2015 season has been one of change, both in terms of business models and the sanctioning body’s quest for a new entitlement sponsor for its foremost series.
Dewar said he talks almost daily with Race Team Alliance leader Rob Kauffman, and those discussions have far-ranging implications for the ownership model in the sport, including a possible charter system for team ownership.
“Like Rob, I’m cautiously optimistic that we can get something that really helps provide a foundation for the future,” Dewar said, stressing the importance of building stability in the sport.
In that same vein, Dewar expressed pride in the recently completed and unprecedented five-year sanctioning agreements with race tracks that host NASCAR events.
Asserting that NASCAR racing is more popular today than ever before, Dewar noted that the sanctioning body is in an excellent position to broaden its base of potential replacements for Sprint, which will leave its role as title sponsor for the Sprint Cup Series after 2016.
Fundamental changes in the sport, such as an elimination-based Chase format, give NASCAR executives the opportunity to re-introduce the sport to a wider audience.
“If you haven’t been around NASCAR in the last two or three years, you really haven’t been around NASCAR,” Dewar said. “It’s really allowing us an opportunity to talk to a wide group, whether it’s blue-chip domestic companies, to internationals, to regional companies—and we have a great story to tell.
“It’s casting a wide net. We’re in a nice place, and we’ve been to some really cool companies, talking about our sport. We hope to find a partner that will deliver equally the strength that we’ve gotten from Sprint.”
Dewar said there’s no specific timetable for finding a new partner but added that, “I’m as excited today as I’ve ever been in the sport.”