posted on Jun, 18 2003 @ 11:46 AM
From the Winston Cup to the Nextel Cup, just doesn't sound right.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- At the end of next season, NASCAR's newest champion will raise the Nextel Cup over his head. Maybe he'll then use a "push-to-talk"
phone to make some celebratory calls.
Both scenarios are likely now, ESPN and ESPN.com have learned, that wireless communications giant Nextel has reached a deal to replace R.J. Reynolds
Tobacco Co. as the title sponsor of NASCAR's premier series, the Winston Cup.
RJR, which wanted out of its contract in February, has been limited in marketing its NASCAR sponsorship by the 1998 master settlement of state
lawsuits against the tobacco industry. RJR cannot advertise Winston, its top cigarette brand, on radio or television and is expressly forbidden to
market to people under 18.
RJR has been with NASCAR for 31 years, signing in 1972 to take over what was then called the Grand National Series. The company teamed with NASCAR to
build the Winston Cup Series into the nation's hottest sports property.