LAS VEGAS — In the wake of NASCAR’s new deal with Monster Energy as title sponsor of it’s premier series, 5-Hour Energy’s role in the new-look division is unclear as they race towards the 2017 season.
5-Hour Energy was revealed as the anchor sponsor of the No. 77 Furniture Row Racing Toyota Camry for 2017 in August, with Erik Jones set to embark on his rookie season at the sport’s top level next year after coming up just short of an XFINITY Series title this past season.
However, questions have been raised as to whether Monster Energy becoming the new premier series sponsor would throw a wrench into that deal or not.
The sanctioning body announced Thursday during a press conference at the Wynn Las Vegas that “under the (new) agreement, energy drink sponsors already involved in NASCAR may remain in place. Potential sponsors from the energy drink category will not be eligible for future sponsorship if not already involved in the sport.”
Because 5-Hour Energy is technically an energy shot and not an energy drink, it has not yet been revealed how the company would fall in regards to the series’ grandfather clause.
While their sponsorship of Jones for 2017 appears not to be affected under the new deal thanks to the grandfather clause, it has not yet been revealed if 5-Hour’s capability to change teams beyond next year would be permitted or not, at least to this point.
5-Hour Energy parent company Living Essentials released a statement on Friday in regards to their sponsorship of Jones, NASCAR’s new entitlement deal and what their status is for 2017:
“Living Essentials is not privy to any negotiated provisions of the agreement between NASCAR and its new entitlement sponsor, therefore we could not speak with any clarity on whether yesterday’s announcement has any bearing on Living Essentials’ primary sponsorship of Furniture Row Racing’s 5-Hour ENERGY car and driver Erik Jones,” the statement read. “We value NASCAR as a marketing platform and have been a sponsor of races, media, promotions, teams and drivers. We will gather more information in the near future and expect to remain a part of the racing community.”
5-Hour Energy has been involved in NASCAR since 2012 as a sponsor of Clint Bowyer, both at Michael Waltrip Racing and at HScott Motorsports.
My two cents? Even though the full details of what may (or may not) happen with 5-Hour have yet to be announced, it sure would be a shame if NASCAR allowed one of their fiercely loyal sponsors for the past half-decade to fall by the wayside just because of their new entitlement deal.
Keep in mind, this is also a company that put their money where their mouth is and will sponsor a rookie in Jones as he looks to make his name at the Sprint Cup level next season, which isn’t a small decision and will be an important bullet in NASCAR’s 2017 season watch-list.
I know there’s still more information to be obtained, but that would not be the kind of momentum NASCAR needs going into a new season with a new partner.
So I, like Living Essentials, will be waiting intently to see what NASCAR says in regards to the specifics of their new entitlement deal with Monster and the grandfather clause effects … if they ultimately release those details to us, of course.
In the meantime, it at least still looks as if Jones and Furniture Row will have a sponsor for the No. 77 next year.
Let’s all hope it stays that way.
The opinions expressed are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views of Race Chaser Online, the Performance Motorsports Network, Scorpion Radio Group, their sponsors or other contributors.
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 22-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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