Indianapolis, IN (SportsNetwork.com) - The IndyCar Series will now be known as the Verizon IndyCar Series.
On Friday, IndyCar announced a multi-year entitlement agreement with Verizon Wireless. The new title sponsorship comes nearly six months after IZOD announced it was ending its title sponsorship agreement with IndyCar at the conclusion of the 2013 season. IZOD had served as title sponsor for the sport since 2010.
The 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series begins on March 30 in St. Petersburg, Fla. This year's schedule includes 12 races on road and street courses, including three sets of doubleheaders (Detroit, Houston and Toronto), and six races on ovals, including the May 25 Indianapolis 500.
"It's a huge day for IndyCar," said Mark Miles, CEO, Hulman & Co., the parent of IndyCar and Indianapolis Motor Speedway. "I think of this day as a game- changer for IndyCar, for the series, for our fans, the teams, our drivers. In a real sense, I think it represents a kind of confirmation of the strategies we've put into place and where we intend to take the sport and is the beginning of the next phase of IndyCar's growth."
Verizon has been an official partner of IndyCar the past four years and the primary sponsor of the No. 12 Team Penske car, driven by Will Power. The telecommunications company will also serve as primary sponsor for Penske's No. 2 car, with Juan Pablo Montoya behind the wheel, in at least eight races this season. Verizon will continue its sponsorship of the pole winner award for each IndyCar race.
IndyCar and Verizon will engage in a multi-dimensional partnership linking sports, entertainment and technology beginning with the St. Petersburg race.
The collaboration includes significant network coverage upgrades to Indianapolis Motor Speedway as part of its 'Project 100,' short-and-long-term technology enhancements to IndyCar Race Control, the addition of pit lane monitors and enhancing connectivity for spectators at each racetrack.
"Internally, we have been evolving our brand and our position in the marketplace from a mobile-and-wireless-centric company into more of this technology company, and when you think about the role that technology plays in IndyCar, it just seemed like a great match," Verizon Wireless vice president of marketing Brian Angiolet said. "And now with this agreement, and when you look at the roadmap that we have both in the agreement and from a product standpoint, I think we feel that we now have a platform really here to demonstrate what all of our technology can bring to the fan base, inside and outside the venue. So it's a perfect match at a perfect time."
Verizon plans to deploy its LTE Multicast solution at racetracks in the future, complementing the Verizon INDYCAR 14 app and indycar.com, the series' website.