2018-04-27
Audible Canada joins Festival of Literary Diversity as lead corporate sponsor
Audible Canada was announced Apr. 24 as lead corporate sponsor at Brampton, Ontario’s Festival of Literary Diversity.The year-round sponsorship represents a three-year commitment from the Amazon-owned audiobook service, which announced its sponsorship of the Scotiabank Giller Prize and the launch of its Canadian e-store in September 2017. “This commitment from Audible Canada is a game changer,” FOLD artistic director Jael Richardson said in a statement, noting its support will provide “critical stability” for the festival.“FOLD celebrates diverse voices and Audible is proud to bring those voices to listeners across Canada,” Jon Fleming, manager of Audible Canada, said in a statement. Books by FOLD alumni such as Eden Robinson, Kim Thúy, and Lawrence Hill are currently available on Audible with Canadian actors of diverse backgrounds frequently employed as narrators.Audible’s sponsorship will allow FOLD to create a full-time staff position and to continue running and promoting its annual Reading Challenge, which encourages readers to discover authors who represent marginalized perspectives including a diversity of cultures, abilities, sexual orientations, and religions.Amanda Leduc, communications and development coordinator for FOLD, notes Audible’s support is a natural partnership for a festival that strives for accessibility, providing another format in which people can experience books. Improvements to accessibility will begin at this year’s festival, which takes place in Brampton from May 3–6. Audible will be onsite to record live panels, with recordings made available to the public. More details of the sponsorship will be made available at a later date.Article by Ryan Porter as posted on Quill and Quire...
2018-04-26
Make-A-Wish Welcomes Back Colliers International as Sponsor of Rope for Hope Toronto 2018
Make-A-Wish® Toronto & Central Ontario is pleased to announce that Colliers International will return as Participant Champion Sponsor of Rope for Hope Toronto on Friday, June 8, 2018."We are excited to once again partner with Colliers on our Rope for Hope fundraising event," says Sheila Rees, regional director, Make-A-Wish Toronto & Central Ontario. "Last year, its team contributed $15,000 towards the fundraising efforts of Rope for Hope Toronto participants, helping us create life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses in the community. We thank Colliers for its thoughtful support of our mission and its efforts to move us closer to our Rope for Hope fundraising goal of $360,000."This year, Colliers will generously donate $100 to the first 150 individuals who register for the Toronto event.Make-A-Wish® Rope for Hope is the signature fundraiser for Make-A-Wish® Canada. Rappelling events will take place in 12 cities across the country from May through September 2018. Participants must raise a minimum of $1,500 to help grant wishes for local children, and in return, they are given the opportunity to rappel down a city skyscraper.Toronto participants will rappel 30 storeys down Toronto City Hall's east tower on June 8. All money raised will help grant wishes in the region."This event helps to support young, courageous children while solidifying the premise of the program into our consciousness," says Gigi Farrell, director, marketing, eastern Canada, Colliers International. "The foundation helps children replace fear with confidence, sadness with joy and anxiety with hope as part of the healing process. Rope for Hope is similar. Our brave people will rappel off City Hall facing their fears, hearts racing with joy while providing hope for these kids. Even our supporters will be filled with the energy accompanying such an exciting and worthwhile fundraiser. Colliers is proud to support Make-A-Wish and more deeply understand the real purpose of the program."...
2018-04-25
Investors Group Walk for Alzheimer's national sponsorship to raise vital funds for Canadians living with dementia
The Alzheimer Society is pleased to welcome Investors Group as its first-ever national title sponsor for the Walk for Alzheimer's, the Society's annual nationwide fundraiser. Each year, enthusiastic walkers come together for a common goal: to raise vital funds for local programs and services, which will help individuals and families living with Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia.Last year, more than 25,000 participants in more than 250 walks raised over $4.9 million in communities across Canada. Starting in May and continuing throughout the month of June, the newly branded Investors Group Walk for Alzheimer's will mobilize thousands of Canadians to walk in communities across the country.More than half a million Canadians live with dementia today. In less than 15 years, this number will increase to 937,000. Costs for people with dementia are estimated to be 5.5 times greater than those who do not have the condition. Home care and long-term care are the largest contributors to direct costs."Investors Group is proud to support the Alzheimer Society and their outstanding efforts to improve the quality of life for Canadian families living with dementia," says Jeff Carney, President and CEO of Investors Group and IGM Financial. "We all know someone touched by this disease. Through our clients, we see first-hand the emotional and financial challenges this critical health issue presents for families. I know our employees and financial advisors across the country look forward to making these walks a success, delivering funds and advice to Canadians in need."Currently, there is no cure or effective treatment to delay or stop the disease. That's why it's imperative to ensure funding for programs, services and resources that will help those affected to live as independently as possible, and with the highest quality of life."On behalf of our Alzheimer Society partners across the country, I'm very excited to welcome Investors Group as the new national title sponsor for the Walk for Alzheimer's," says Pauline Tardif, CEO at the Alzheimer Society of Canada. "We are proud to partner with an organization that shares our commitment to making a difference in the lives of Canadians living with dementia. With Investor Group's support, we're able to grow our walk and reach more Canadians with dementia who need our help."Investors Group Walk for Alzheimer's is a great opportunity for communities to rally against dementia and show their support for friends, families and neighbours who are impacted, as well as spark more conversation about a disease that is affecting increasing numbers of Canadians....
2018-04-24
Sponsorship teaches marketers the value of long term investment, if they’ll let it
With increased pressure on marketers to do more with less, the need to be able to demonstrate genuine return on investment to business is crucial.Yet, despite this, and particularly in the areas of brand and sponsorship, there appears to be an aversion to ROI measurement. And I mean ROI as the accountant approving your budget understands and calculates it – in dollars, not clicks, not leads, not more favourable to the brand.Many are hanging their hats on these more subjective metrics, like how these tactics make consumers feel, how many people they reach, or some other ethereal measure of market or media value. And every few months (sponsorship being the prime example) there seems to be a New Improved Metric, claiming to be the “New ROI”, with no real basis for calling itself ROI and no comparison or benchmark against the performance of other marketing tactics.So, without an ability to provide or make any comparisons to other actual ROI measures, it should be no surprise that both sponsorship and brand campaigns are two of the first areas that finance looks to cut when budgets need tightening.The problem is that they take a too limited, too short-sighted view.It’s not that ROIs can’t be calculated. It’s that most analysts only calculate a direct, short-term ROI. And if you do it this way for brand or sponsorship, often your result is going to suggest that you’re losing money on your investment.Both sponsorship activities and brand campaigns are specifically designed to provide the foundation on which to build the rest of a brand’s marketing tactics.This means you’re your performance metrics need to include: (1) the indirect impact they have on strengthening your other communications with consumers, and (2) the longer-term impact that they have on your brand’s value.“But that’s exactly why those intangible metrics are being used!”I know. But those metrics aren’t ROI. And unfortunately, even if you’re drinking the most expensive champagne, finance isn’t going to take you seriously unless you’re showing them the money.The solution is not to shy away from ROI measures because they seemly tell a poor story, nor is it to create new metrics as an alternative, the solution is to ensure that you fully capture the wider (indirect) and longer-term impacts of your investment.Using a case study in event sponsorship as an example (think sponsorship of a Major League Baseball game) we used marketing mix modelling to isolate the impact that marketing and sponsorship had on sales.The short-term direct ROI of sponsorship was less than $1, in line with other studies we’ve run. This wasn’t unexpected, but it is the reason most people avoid using ROI measures for sponsorship.However, when you consider indirect impacts, we found the sponsor generated an additional $5 on top of this, through other marketing activities which were not possible without that sponsorship. When compared to other marketing tactics, this makes sponsorship a worthy investment.There are other benefits too. Understanding this indirect contribution enables you to identify how to best leverage sponsorship investments.In our example, we found that social media surrounding an event plays a significant role in boosting impact, but not far behind is ensuring synergies with offline media (i.e. making sure the sponsorship reflects, and is reflected in, traditional media channels’ creative is important).Then there’s the long-term benefit. Our results across numerous studies confirm that sponsorship is indeed a long-term burn. While returns may be less than a dollar in the short-term, sponsorship activities can add up to five times more in the years following the initial investment.The numbers change depending on the industry and final execution, but there’s a consistent pattern once the short-term and long-term effects have been built in. So, don’t be afraid of measuring ROI of your longer-term investments, embrace it.Because the more you do, assuming your decision was a good one and you’re measuring it holistically, the stronger the case for continuing to invest in sponsorship and brand in the future.Article by Jo-Ann Foo as posted on Mumbrella...
2018-04-23
Pleasantville Legion tees up sponsorship for veteran golfer
Newfoundland and Labrador is known for celebrating home-grown talent. But one man doesn’t get the praise that some think he deserves.68-year-old Bram Churchill is an accomplished senior long drive golfer, having played with Team Canada at the International Long Drive Challenge (ILDC) for 15 years and winning numerous competitions.Churchill knows how to hit a golf ball — far. For comparison, his average drive is 360 yards; during the 2013 season, Tiger Woods’ average drive was just over 293 yards.When Pleasantville Legion branch manager Ted Hall found out about Churchill’s accomplishments and the fact that he didn’t have a sponsor, he felt compelled to help.“Bram is a somewhat ex-service person as a retired highway patrol officer, and he’s also a Legion member and president of the Port Blandford Legion, so we jumped on board as a branch in town to do what we could for him.”Hall and Churchill are both actively involved in The Royal Canadian Legion, and the two met last August at a biannual conference in Stephenville. Hall said he was surprised he hadn’t heard about Churchill before meeting him last year.“You’ve got curling, and everybody’s on board, and people are getting sponsorships, and figure skating, and this and that, and this guy here has probably done more than any Newfoundlander that I know of in the sporting industry,” said Hall. “I mean, to be world champion, and nobody? It just blows my mind, especially being a senior citizen. It’s pretty disheartening. So, I think that’s what drove me to say, you know what? We’ll get this done — we’ll get you where you’ve got to go.”The Pleasantville Legion is sponsoring Churchill for three tournaments this year. First, he’ll head to the World Long Drive’s Bash for Cash in Ontario in June, then the United States Senior Long Drive Championships in St. Louis in July, finishing the summer with a qualifier for Team Canada with the ILDC in August.Churchill may have entered the sport late in life, but it doesn’t stop him. He’s placed in 40 different long drive tournaments provincially, nationally, and internationally since he got hooked on the sport in 2002.Churchill’s received some in-kind sponsorship for apparel and equipment over the years, including from The Telegram, and during one year out of 16 he had a sponsor send him to tournaments. He said this is the first time he’s had a major sponsor step up to help with equipment costs and send him to multiple tournaments around the world.To get enough money to travel, the retired highway patrol officer usually collects golf balls around Terra Nova, cleans them up, and sells them.“I get invited to tournaments — five or six a year. I can’t go. The only ones I can go to is the Canadian championships, and then if I qualify for Team Canada, then I’d have to scrounge money to go to the Worlds.”Churchill recalls the moment when that changed last summer.He was sitting at the Legion conference, where speakers were congratulating the young Canada Games athletes who the Legion had sponsored, when then Pleasantville Legion treasurer Barry Furlong announced they’d be sponsoring Churchill.“Barry spoke up and said, ‘You know, we look after the youth of the province, but we don’t look after seniors in the province.’ And he said, ‘How many people in this room today knows that we’ve got a senior world champion sitting with us?’ No one had a clue. And I didn’t know who he was talking about because it kind of took me off guard, and then he said, ‘Comrade Churchill, would you come up?’“Then I realized it was me they were talking about. So, then he announced that they were going to sponsor me. I fill up very easily, I’m very emotional, and it struck me. After 16 years, these two guys decided to do something for me, and it was an absolutely amazing feeling. I said, ‘B’ys, hit me or something because I’m dreaming.’”Hall also reached out to some of his contacts and, so far, he’s got NTV on board and is working on getting a golf course sponsor as well. The Legion’s already organized a few dart tournaments to raise funds, and just last weekend held a dance at the Pleasantville Legion with proceeds going to Churchill’s upcoming tournaments.To think that before Hall approached him, Churchill was considering retiring from the sport altogether.“I’ve spent a lot of lonely nights wondering if I should give this up,” he said, becoming emotional.“Now I’ve got no intentions of retiring. I’m really enthused and looking forward to this year.”Article by Juanita Mercer as posted on The Telegram...
2018-04-19
Are Brands Less Afraid of Outspoken Athletes Now?
Adidas might sponsor Colin Kaepernick — if he signs with an NFL team.After leading the San Francisco 49ers to the 2013 Super Bowl, quarterback Colin Kaepernick landed several big-name sponsorships. He appeared in ads for McDonald’s, Beats by Dre, and Jaguar in the years that followed.But in 2016 he began kneeling during the national anthem at NFL games to draw attention to police violence. And that’s when his lucrative endorsement deals dried up. His activism led his jersey to become a top seller, but no advertisers came calling.Now, their shutout of Kaepernick might be over. Adidas definitely wants to give Kap a deal, according to Mark King, president of the company’s North American division. There’s just one catch: The athlete and activist must first sign with an NFL team. This condition reflects the ongoing ambivalence both the sports world and the business sector have had about public figures who get political.Professional sports, race, and politics have intersected in the US for more than a century, with athletes of color repeatedly shunned when they have fought injustice or refused to follow racist dictates about how they should behave. During an age in which political engagement among Americans is widespread, Adidas is toeing the line. It wants the public to know it supports the nation’s most outspoken athlete but has put the fate of a would-be sponsorship for him in the hands of the league that forced him out.When Kaepernick became a free agent in 2017 after his five-year run with the 49ers, no other team picked him up. The quarterback eventually filed a grievance against the NFL team owners, accusing them of colluding against him due to his politics. The grievance and the length of time Kaepernick has gone unsigned by an NFL team make it unlikely that he will resume his football career anytime soon.He’s hardly the first athlete of color retaliated against for his political views. The boxing world exiled Muhammad Ali after he refused in 1967 to enlist in US Army during the Vietnam War. The following year, runners John Carlos and Tommie Smith gave the black power salute during the 1968 Olympics in Mexico to protest poverty, lynching, and racism stateside. The sprinters didn’t lose any endorsements because they had none to begin with, but they were stripped of their Olympic medals and sidelined from their athletic careers as a result.The Black Lives Matter effectIn the age of Black Lives Matter, however, it’s more difficult for sports organizations and companies to intimidate athletes into silence. When athletes stay mum about issues like police brutality, they risk alienating communities of color. After LeBron James hesitated to speak out about the 2014 police killing of 12-year-old Ohioan Tamir Rice, the slain boy’s mother called him out for it.Since then, however, James has managed to balance activism with his lucrative sponsorships. He’s discussed the police killings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, campaigned for Hillary Clinton, and addressed his own experience with bigotry after racist graffiti was left on his Los Angeles home last year.Fox News host Laura Ingraham may want James to “shut up and dribble,” but none of his candidness about race seems to have endangered his status as a Nike pitchman: He has a lifetime deal with the company. Perhaps that’s because Nike itself has publicized its concerns about race relations. CEO and chair Mark Parker released a statement about race in the US shortly after Sterling and Castile’s high-profile police killings left the nation on edge in 2016.“I am proud that Nike stands against discrimination in any form,” Parker said. “We stand against bigotry. We stand for racial justice. We firmly believe the world can improve.”He ended the note with hashtags #blacklivesmatter and #stoptheviolence — a bold move for a multinational corporation with some customers who surely don’t share those sentiments.That summer, even Nike legend Michael Jordan, famously reticent about political issues, spoke out about racialized police violence on ESPN’s Undefeated site. A slew of Nike-sponsored athletes, including Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, Chris Paul, and Carmelo Anthony, have talked about racial injustice without risking their endorsement deals.But the prominence of those athletes might explain why. Denver Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall, who has far less name recognition than a James or a Kaepernick, lost two endorsement deals after kneeling during the national anthem in 2016. Granted, they weren’t with a giant like Nike but with the Air Academy Federal Credit Union and telecommunications company CenturyLink.Executives face backlash tooIt’s not only athletes who suffer for taking a political stance. Sports brands have taken a hit when executives have shared their political views. In 2016, Matthew LeBretton, New Balance’s vice president of public affairs, told the Wall Street Journal that the company supported Donald Trump’s opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Reportedly the only major brand still making athletic shoes in the US, New Balance felt the initiative would hurt business.The seemingly pro-Trump tilt to LeBretton’s words led to a public backlash, complete with outraged customers filming themselves burning their New Balance shoes. The executive did not say he backed Trump overall, only his stance on the TPP. But that got lost in translation — to New Balance’s detriment. Before long, an influential neo-Nazi blogger declared the footwear brand the “Official Shoes of White People.”A connection to Trump also led Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank to face a backlash. Last summer, when the president didn’t immediately condemn the deadly gathering of neo-Nazis in Charlottesville, Virginia, Plank faced criticism for serving on Trump’s American Manufacturing Council. But this time there was a twist: The Under Armour executive received pushback not only from the public but also from the athletes his company sponsors, such as Stephen Curry and Misty Copeland.Growing disapproval of his link to Trump led Plank to step down from the council. In his public statement about the decision, Plank stressed, “Under Armour engages in innovation and sports, not politics.”Ambivalence about outspoken athletes remainsThat athletes can now criticize the companies that sponsor them without repercussions signals that the tide is shifting. Being openly political is no longer a liability for athletes — in many cases. Kaepernick’s career, of course, has come to a standstill. But he’s also earned considerable praise for his politics from the broader culture. Last year, he won GQ’s Citizen of the Year honor and Sports Illustrated’s Muhammad Ali Legacy Award.Unlike many of his athlete peers, Kap did not craft a carefully worded statement about racialized police violence. He sat during the national anthem, leading many of his critics to distort what his gesture actually meant.They ignored his concerns about racist and deadly policing, instead accusing him of protesting the national anthem and the nation’s troops. This twisting of his message continues to make the quarterback a gamble for businesses, which is why Adidas can pay lip service to the idea that it supports his right to self-expression without actually signing him.Publicly offering Kaepernick a contract with one very tricky condition is a disingenuous move that reveals sports brands haven’t completely overcome their ambivalence about politically engaged athletes.Discussing his interest in Kaepernick, Adidas executive Mark King appeared to be speaking from both sides of his mouth. He maintained that Adidas is apolitical while feigning interest in activist athletes who “bring attention to something that moves the world forward, even if there’s controversy at that moment.” These athletes, he says, “represent the world today.”In this divisive political climate, Kaepernick is certainly a sign of the times. While sports brands won’t risk publicly aligning themselves with the left or the right, this much is clear: There’s a profit to be made from activism in Trump’s America.Article by Nadra Nittle as posted on Racked....
2018-04-18
FIFA looks to the East as it struggles to find sponsors for Russia World Cup
With two months to go until the first ball is kicked, international soccer body FIFA is struggling to find sponsors for the 2018 World Cup.Fewer companies have signed sponsorship deals for this year's tournament in Russia than had done so two months prior to the 2014 competition, held in Brazil.FIFA divides sponsors into three groups — partners, World Cup sponsors and regional supporters.Seven "partners," all global brands with financial muscle, have signed up to FIFA's highest level of sponsorship. Brands such as Coca-Cola, Hyundai-Kia Motors, Visa and Adidas have remained FIFA's loyal, long-term partners. Newcomers to FIFA's top roster of sponsors have been limited to the Middle East's Qatar Airways, Russian state oil giant Gazprom and Wanda Group, which calls itself the world's biggest private property developer.A pressing concern for FIFA is the declining number of businesses sponsoring its prime tournament.Five companies have agreed to funnel money to FIFA in return for logos plastered across Russian stadiums and other media exposure during the month-long World Cup, compared to a total of eight in Brazil.A trio of Western brands — Continental, Johnson & Johnson and Castrol — opted not to renew their sponsorship deals in 2015, the same year as reports of corruption at the top of FIFA came to light. Instead, Chinese firms have stepped up to fill the void left by U.S. and European brands.Mengniu, China's second-largest dairy company, signed a sponsorship deal in December, granting it the right to air commercials across a total of 64 World Cup games in June and July. The company is among the five firms listed in FIFA's second group of tournament-only sponsors.Sports marketer and former FIFA employee Patrick Nally said FIFA's toxic brand is the main driving force behind Western firms disassociating themselves from sponsoring the World Cup."Clearly, FIFA has become a toxic brand," Nally said. "It has been a corrupt organization. Companies are concerned with their own image nowadays so you can understand why it (FIFA) isn't an attractive proposition."U.S. prosecutors arrested seven FIFA officials in a raid at FIFA's Swiss headquarters in May 2015, culminating in a ban from football activities for the body's former president Sepp Blatter.Nally, who worked on bringing Coca-Cola in as a sponsor for FIFA and helped establish the organization's marketing packages for the 1978 and 1982 World Cups, believes the alignment of Chinese, Russian and Middle Eastern companies shows "political decisions" have replaced decisions made on a purely commercial basis at the top of FIFA.He added that nothing can change the perception of FIFA has a "toxic brand," but did propose one solution. "FIFA will continue to be in decline and should consider a complete name change or brand image change."Article by Shafi Musaddique as posted on CNBC...
2018-04-17
Scotiabank Girls HockeyFest comes to Toronto, inspiring young female hockey lovers to reach their infinite potential
On Sunday, April 22, 300 female hockey players aged 7-14 will hit the ice with Canadian hockey legend Cassie Campbell-Pascall for the seventh annual Scotiabank Girls HockeyFest in Toronto, at the MasterCard Centre.Scotiabank Girls HockeyFest is a free, on and off-ice training series designed to empower young girls across Canada, with a passion for hockey, to dream big and reach their infinite potential.The event has provided aspiring female minor hockey players across Canada with positive experiences through the game of hockey since 2005. Last year, Scotiabank reached the important milestone of supporting one million kids and counting, through its commitment to kids' community hockey across Canada."Scotiabank Girls HockeyFest is a fantastic opportunity for young female hockey players to celebrate our nation's favourite game," said Cassie Campbell-Pascall. "Through this event, these young athletes will improve their skills, build their confidence, and learn how to work together as a team. I'm incredibly proud to be a part of this event because I know from my own experience how valuable it is to receive support from the hockey community. It's my pleasure to give back through the Scotiabank Girls HockeyFest to these young girls who share my passion for the game."This season, Scotiabank Girls HockeyFest was available to young female hockey players at no cost in four communities across Canada – Calgary, Winnipeg, Ottawa, and Toronto, the program's final stop. Along with providing young girls with access to some of Canada's most influential female hockey stars, the program includes on and off-ice training, and a nutrition session explaining the importance of healthy eating."We are excited to present Scotiabank Girls HockeyFest in Toronto, encouraging young athletes to reach their infinite potential through teamwork, on-ice drills and inspiration from their hockey heroes," said Rachel Donoghue, District Vice-President, GTA Mississauga Region, Scotiabank. "This event will allow us to share our passion for the sport and to inspire a new generation of players to achieve their hockey dreams. Young people are our future leaders and Scotiabank's goal is to help ensure that they have the necessary skills and resources they need to support their success."Scotiabank has a long tradition of supporting Canadian hockey at all levels – from community teams and minor hockey associations to professional players and leagues. At Scotiabank, investing in our communities has been a focus for over 185 years. We believe investing in young people is the pathway to community prosperity.To learn more about the event and Scotiabank's commitment to kids' community hockey, visit www.scotiabankgirlshockeyfest.com....
2018-04-16
iHeartRadio Announced as Official Radio Partner of the Boots and Hearts Music Festival
Saddle up country fans! iHeartRadio Canada announced today that it has teamed up with Boots and Hearts to become the official radio partner of Canada's largest country music festival. As part of this exclusive partnership, iHeartRadio has launched Boots and Hearts Radio, which features music from the hottest country artists playing at the 2018 Boots and Hearts Music Festival, including country heavyweights Florida Georgia Line, Alan Jackson, Thomas Rhett, Dallas Smith, Billy Currington, Brett Young and more.Anchored by hosts of the iHeartRadio New Country Countdown, Sophie Moroz and Jeff Hopper, the brand new, commercial-free, Boots and Hearts country music station features artists from the 2018 line-up, and those that have previously headlined this must-attend summer festival, as well as exclusive interviews from them. Boots and Hearts Radio is available now on the iHeartRadio app.Spanning four days from August 9-12 in Oro Medonte, Ont., just north of Toronto, Boots and Hearts provides country music fans with performances from more than 40 artists, 60 hours of live entertainment, and many other attractions, creating a truly unique festival experience. iHeartRadio will also have its own activation space on the grounds during the festival, with live coverage across multiple Bell Media country radio stations, including live interview content and updates from Burl's Creek Event Grounds....
2018-04-13
Monster Energy renews sponsorship with NASCAR through 2019
NASCAR and Monster Energy have reached agreement on an extension of the energy drink company’s sponsorship of stock car racing’s top series.Monster will remain as lead sponsor of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series through the 2019 season. The sponsorship has been in place since 2017.“NASCAR and Monster Energy enjoyed a productive first year, and both parties have benefited significantly from the partnership,” said Steve Phelps, NASCAR’s newly named chief operating officer. “Monster Energy successfully utilized our sport as a platform to elevate its brand and drive business, while introducing NASCAR to new audiences.”NASCAR is working toward making significant changes in its series sponsorship models for 2020 and beyond, and Monster’s 2019 agreement probably will be the last of its kind.Daryl Wolfe, a NASCAR senior vice president, told USA TODAY on Tuesday that the new sponsorship setup could be “radically different, somewhat different or maybe minimally different” from the current situation.He said the sanctioning body is looking at numerous possibilities, including an umbrella-like model that could involve speedways, racing teams, television partners and NASCAR under a single sponsorship approach. For example, an upper-level sponsorship under the new framework could result in a company’s name being splashed across virtually every facet of the sport.“The way I look at it, there is an opportunity to create a model where you have a single brand have a very valuable, integrated position across the sport in one type of an agreement,” Wolfe said. “It would be a situation where they’re getting a better return and a more consistent, standardized place across the sport.“You eliminate the situation where you buy one position and before you know it you have to buy a second and a third and a fourth position.”Wolfe described the process to revamp NASCAR’s sponsorship model as exhaustive.“Hopefully, we’ll land on one based on input from the tracks, the teams and our network partners,” he said. “It’s a very complex landscape and a pretty fragmented industry.”Monster Energy could remain in the sport beyond 2019 under the new framework.Monster Energy replaced Sprint as NASCAR’s lead sponsor, signing on late in 2016 for the 2017 and 2018 seasons. Discussions about renewal stretched longer than planned this year before an agreement was reached.NASCAR and its speedway operators are attempting to attract younger fans to the sport, and Monster, whose sports sponsorships typically have been more edgy than most, has been seen as a part of that trend....