GANASSI RACING SIGNS SPONSORSHIP DEAL WITH FIRST DATA; FIRST DATA PUTTING MARKETING DOLLARS IN TO NASCAR

Chip Ganassi Racing has announced a sponsorship deal with First Data (FDC) that will make the credit card processor the primary sponsor on Kyle Larson’s #42 car, for two races during this season’s Monster Energy (MNST) NASCAR Cup Series. Ganassi has been working to find a permanent replacement for current sponsor Target (TGT), whose contract expires at the end of the season, and is hopeful the partnership with First Data will grow in 2018. First Data has been making a big push in to the NASCAR space, targeting small business decision makers that comprise part of the sports’ overall fan base. The company recently signed a deal with International Speedway Corporation’s (ISCA) Martinsville Speedway, to act as the title sponsor of the playoff race in October (First Data 500) and will serve as the credit card processor at 2 additional races this year (Phoenix & Miami).

First Data Signs On With Chip Ganassi Racing, Will Sponsor Races For Kyle Larson

Howie Long-Short: The firm’s Global Financial Solutions division (retail & credit processing) recently reported it is up 12% YOY. With Clover helping to drive merchant on boarding, the future looks bright for First Data.

Fan Marino: First Data has been active in the sports sponsorship space of late, signing a 10-year deal with the Mets and purchasing the naming rights to their spring training facility in Port St. Lucie (First Data Field).

TARGET MOVING SPORTS MARKETING DOLLARS FROM NASCAR TO MLS

Target Corp. (TGT) is shifting its sports marketing budget from NASCAR to MLS. The retail giant announced it is terminating its 16 year sponsorship of Chip Ganassi’s NASCAR team and that it does not plan to renew its deal with Kyle Larson’s No. 42 Chevy car, following this season. Instead, TGT will be among the national sponsors of MLS and the primary local sponsor for the Minnesota United FC. The company has stated the move is being driven by growing interest in the game of soccer within core target demographics; Hispanics, families and millennials.

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Target pulls out of NASCAR, steers dollars to soccer

Howie Long-Short: Hard to argue with TGT logic here. One sport is growing, while the other is in a decline.

Fan Marino: Pro Tip: If you go to a NASCAR event, make sure to get the scanner headsets so you can listen in on the drivers. Game-changer.