INDIANAPOLIS — Verizon Wireless will end its title sponsorship of North America’s premier open wheel racing championship, the Verizon IndyCar Series, following the conclusion of the 2018 season.
Mark Miles confirmed the impending split on Friday. The Sports Business Journal first reported the story.
“We truly appreciate the significant resources – both financial and technical – that Verizon has invested in IndyCar,” said Hulman & Company CEO Mark Miles. “Our series and sport have benefited across a variety of fronts as a result of our work together, and they have been great partners.”
Verizon was the fourth title sponsor of the IndyCar Series, going back to its time as the Indy Racing League when it first debuted in 1996.
Pep Boys served as the series sponsor in both 1998 and 1999, followed by a two-year stint from Internet search engine Northern Light that covered the 2000 and 2001 seasons.
The series ran sponsorless until 2010, when clothing company Izod took over title sponsorship of the division. That deal ended following the 2013 season, when Verizon took over naming rights for the championship, a position it has held through the present time.
Verizon has also had a substantial involvement as a primary sponsor of Team Penske’s Indy car program as well through the years. Serving as the full-time primary sponsor of Will Power in the championship since 2009, Verizon has also backed drivers Juan Pablo Montoya, Josef Newgarden, Simon Pagenaud and Helio Castroneves at various times in the series as well.
Miles gave no timetable for when a new title sponsor might be announced, though IndyCar will have ample time to find a suitable replacement, with more than a year before Verizon’s formal exit officially takes place.
About the Writer
Jacob Seelman is the Managing Editor of Race Chaser Online and creator of the Motorsports Madness radio show, airing at 7 p.m. Eastern every Monday on the Performance Motorsports Network.
Seelman grew up in the sport, watching his grandparents co-own the RaDiUs Motorsports NASCAR Cup Series team in the 1990s.
The 23-year-old is currently studying Broadcast Journalism at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C., and is also serving as the full-time tour announcer for the Must See Racing Sprint Car Series.
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