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NASCAR Cup: Hendrick Motorsports loses Nationwide sponsorship

during the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series TicketGuardian 500 at ISM Raceway on March 10, 2019 in Avondale, Arizona.

By AMANDA VINCENT

Nationwide Insurance will end its sponsorship relationship with Hendrick Motorsports at the end of the 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season. Nationwide is a primary sponsor on the No. 88 HMS Chevrolet driven by Alex Bowman.

“Since 2015, Nationwide has had the pleasure of being the primary sponsor of the No. 88 team, first with Dale Earnhardt Jr. as the driver and the, with Alex Bowman,” a statement from Nationwide read. “In that time, the platform has played a valuable role in building the Nationwide brand, sharing with NASCAR fans our noble purpose of protecting what matters most to our members and raising money and awareness for Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.

“As Nationwide’s business needs evolve, we are adjusting our marketing resources to ensure that we are aligning to those new business priorities.
“With that in mind, we have informed Hendrick Motorsports of our decision to step away from our sponsorship of the 88 team at the end of the year. We have not made this decision lightly, given our 20-plus year involvement in NASCAR and our deep appreciation for Rick Hendrick, Alex Bowman, Hendrick Motorsports, and the millions of NASCAR fans we have engaged with over the years.

“Nationwide will continue to leverage our sponsorship for the rest of 2019 and have many special activations planned. In 2020, we will host partners at select NASCAR races and continue our relationship with Dale Earnhardt Jr.

“We thank Mr. Hendrick for a wonderful five years and wish him and the entire Hendrick Motorsports organization the very best in their future endeavors.”

Nationwide was first a sponsor on the No. 88 car in 2014 and became a regular primary sponsor on the car when it was driven by Dale Earnhardt Jr. Earnhardt retired from Cup Series competition at the end of the 2017 season. Alex Bowman has been the full-time driver of the car since the 2018 season, after driving it for a partial schedule in the second half of the 2016 season as a substitute for the injured Earnhardt.

“I owe a lot to Nationwide,” Bowman said. “They wanted me as their driver and have supported me from the beginning, which I can’t thank them enough for. I’m proud to represent them and have a lot of appreciation for all the awesome people I’ve met and worked with. I couldn’t be more positive about my No. 88 team and what the future holds for us this year and beyond. I know we’re just scratching the surface, and I’m pumped for what’s ahead. We appreciate the role Nationwide has played in our success.”

Bowman is under contract with Hendrick Motorsports through the 2020 season. HMS owner Rick Hendrick says the departure of Nationwide will not impact Bowman’s status with his team.

“We understand the changing dynamics of business, and we’re grateful to the entire team at Nationwide for their wonderful partnership over the past five years,” Hendrick said. “Whether it’s been winning races, competing in the NASCAR playoffs or our recent on-track performance, we have accomplished so much together. Off the track, we have been just as successful, from collaborating on national advertising campaigns to supporting the important mission of Nationwide Children’s Hospital. It has been a pleasure to work with all of their people and to help drive Nationwide’s business forward.

“Alex is having a breakout season and showing the world just how talented he is. He’s signed through next year and will be a big part of our future. The momentum we’re building as a sport is due in large part to NASCAR’s leadership and a unique combination of emerging personalities like Alex, established stars and the exciting shows our racing is putting on. There’s tremendous confidence in the product we have to offer our fans and partners.”

Bowman is 10th in the Cup Series driver standings, 15 races into the 2019 season. He has three top-fives and five top-10 finishes this year, including a string of three straight second-place finishes.

In addition to sponsorship of Hendrick Motorsports and its marketing deal with Earnhardt, Nationwide was the title sponsor of the series now known as the Xfinity Series between 2008 and 2014.

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Posted by on June 13, 2019. Filed under Breaking News,Featured,Monster Energy NASCAR Cup,NASCAR. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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