Having recently solidified the sport's domestic television future as part of record-breaking media rights partnerships with the FOX Sports and NBC Sports groups, NASCAR announced that it has selected IMG to assist the sanctioning body in establishing a long-term and sustainable global commercial broadcast media distribution strategy.
As NASCAR's international media representative, IMG will be responsible for helping the sport increase its footprint, audience base and revenues outside of North America and South America. In addition to leveraging the popularity of motorsports in key international territories like Western Europe and Australia, IMG will further develop NASCAR television rights commercially in markets where motorsports are less widely known such as Southeast Asia, China and Eastern Europe.
"NASCAR, already a global brand with deep international appeal, is positioning itself for robust growth beyond our borders by partnering with the world's television and digital media content delivery leader," said Brent Dewar, NASCAR chief operating officer. "This long-term partnership with IMG Media signals to the world our strong intentions to grow the sport in every corner of the world."
Currently, NASCAR races are broadcast in more than 175 countries through more than 20 broadcast partners worldwide. All of NASCAR's current international broadcast rights will expire at the end of the 2014 season and IMG will begin assisting NASCAR with creating and executing a new international media strategy for 2015 and beyond.
Hillary Mandel, senior vice president, Head of Media North America, IMG, said: "We have a history of working with 'blue chip' world-class sports in the U.S. and developing brands internationally. This experience and expertise will ensure the right broadcasters embrace NASCAR for the renowned sports property it is. Our dedicated team will work with NASCAR and alongside our unrivaled global sales force in more than 30 offices worldwide to ensure both extensive media coverage across all platforms and increased awareness worldwide. We are extremely excited by the opportunities that lie ahead."
As its agent, IMG will work with NASCAR to secure broadcast exposure for NASCAR's national series as well as other NASCAR series in hundreds of countries across the globe beginning in 2015, including expanding into countries which have not broadcast NASCAR content in the past.
These new international broadcasting rights will coincide with the domestic broadcasting rights partnerships with FOX and NBC announced last summer. Beginning in 2015, FOX Sports holds the rights to the first 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points races, the first 14 NASCAR Nationwide Series races and the entire NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season. Starting the same year, the NBC family of networks will be home to the final 20 races of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season, including its season-ending championship event which will return to network television in 2015 for the first time since 2009. Among other NASCAR series, NBC holds the rights to the final 19 races of the NASCAR Nationwide Series.