Gatorade, the sports drink brand owned by PepsiCo, has confirmed that it will not renew its sponsorship of the US-based NASCAR car racing event, and that it will focus instead on stock car racing drivers and races.
"We are faced with a changing landscape in the sport of racing," said Tom Fox, vice president of sports marketing for Gatorade. "Rights we once enjoyed through our NASCAR sponsorship are now held by teams and drivers. Fans of the sport are passionate about the drivers, teams and races and that's where we're going to direct our resources."
Gatorade will continue to sponsor the Gatorade 125s, the qualifying races for the Daytona 500 race, and will also continue to support and promote NASCAR drivers Matt Kenseth and Mark Martin.
Gatorade will continue to maintain its strong relationship with the International Speedway Corporation (ISC), the largest owner and operator of tracks including the sport's premier event, the Daytona 500. Gatorade is the official sports drink of some of the most prestigious tracks in the US. Included in track sponsorships are pouring rights and rights to use track logos in marketing programmes.
"We are committed to racing and its fans," added Fox."We are going to significantly increase our spending in the sport. Teams and race fans alike have been loyal Gatorade drinkers for 30 years and we will continue to have a strong presence in the sport for many years to come."
Gatorade has been involved in the sport of stock car racing since the mid-1970s. Gatorade has maintained a sponsorship with NASCAR, the sanctioning body, since 1984.