Breaking news on the NASCAR front this morning as the sanction announced that Coors Light will no longer be the official beer of NASCAR. Coors Light, which has sponsored the pole award in the Monster Cup and Xfinity series as well as the Camping World Truck series through it’s Keystone Light brand, will no longer be involved with NASCAR as of this writing. A mutually-satisfactory agreement could not be reached by the executives from Coors Light and NASCAR “despite last-ditch efforts by NASCAR in recent weeks to salvage some form of a pact,” according to Sports Business Journal’s breaking report not the split.
The Golden, Colorado based beer brand has been the sponsor of the #1 qualifier awards for nearly a decade after coming on board in 2008. The initial agreement was for five years, but was extended multiple times, most recently in 2012. The original deal was worth $4 million annually, but was likely increased each time the deal was renewed.
Coors Light’s parent company, MillerCoors, will remain on board with Penske Racing as a sponsor on the #2 Ford driven by Brad Keselowski. The car will wear the Miller Light colors for 11 races, extending that relationship into it’s 28th year.
This is just another blow for NASCAR, which will face some huge challenges in 2018 after losing two of it’s most popular and marketable stars – Dale Earnhardt Jr retired and Danica Patrick was unable to find a sponsor – at the end of the 2017 season. With some younger talent like phenom Kyle Larson finding favor among the fans, the sanctioning body will need all the help it can get from it’s up and coming stars to rectify its declining attendance numbers. There are some great young drivers such as Larson, Austin Dillon, and Alex Bowman, who will take over for Dale Jr, that have more than enough talent to make waves, but whether or not they’ll prove marketable enough to draw fans and new sponsors remains to be seen.