NASCAR expands partnership with Xfinity as a founding partner of Chicago Street Race Weekend

NASCAR Premier Partner Xfinity will also be a founding partner of the inaugural Chicago Street Race Weekend, NASCAR announced Thursday.

The partnership gives Xfinity official presenting, marketing, and promotional rights for both the Grant Park 220 Cup Series race and The Loop 121 Xfinity Series race on July 1st and 2nd respectively. The agreement expands a long-lasting partnership between Xfinity and NASCAR.

Xfinity is in its fourth season as a Premier Partner of NASCAR as a whole, and its ninth as entitlement sponsor of the Xfinity Series. The brand also sponsors the Xfinity 500 Playoff elimination race at Martinsville.

“Whenever we want to do something bold to advance the sport and the fan experience, Xfinity has always been there to help us move NASCAR forward,” said Julie Giese, Chicago Street Race President. “The Founding Partner model is really unique to the Chicago Street Race, and we can’t think of a better organization to add to this incredible list of partners for our first-ever street race.”

Alongside Xfinity, McDonald’s and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois health insurance are also founding partners of the Chicago weekend.

“Over the last nine years, NASCAR and Xfinity have become intrinsically linked, and this announcement represents the next step in that proud partnership,” said Jeff Wohlschlaeger, NASCAR’s Chief Sales Officer. “This is an opportunity to showcase our wonderful Founding Partners like Xfinity to a global audience of millions in a brand-new setting here in Chicago.”

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – JUNE 02: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY) (Editors note: This image was computer generated in-game) Cars race during the eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series race at virtual Chicago Street Course on June 02, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Plus, the brand began a partnership with 23XI Racing this season, heralding its new 10G integration for the team.

“NASCAR’s 75th Anniversary season and the Daytona 500 provide a great platform to introduce the next generation Xfinity 10G Network to fans and to our customers,” Matt Lederer, Xfinity’s Vice President of Brand Partnerships, said when the agreement was announced before the season began.

Xfinity will continue to visibly introduce its network to fans in Chicago with branding on the course, primarily in Turn 10, which will be named the Xfinity 10G Turn.

“The Chicago Street Race is an incredible moment in NASCAR history, and we can’t think of a better platform to showcase the Xfinity 10G Network and Xfinity Mobile with the iconic Chicago skyline as a backdrop,” said Matt Lederer, Xfinity’s Vice President of Brand Partnerships.

The news that Xfinity and NASCAR have strengthened their partnership comes at the same time as that partnership appears to be changing its form. Despite Xfinity being America’s largest cable television provider, The Sports Business Journal’s John Ourand reported that NASCAR wants to move Xfinity Series broadcasts permanently to a streaming service, as well as some Cup Series races. Pointedly, the focus of the Chicago partnership is on Xfinity’s 10G Network rather than cable television.

The Grant Park 220 will be nationally broadcast on NBC on Sunday, July 2 at 5:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m. CT and The Loop 121 will be broadcast nationally on USA Network at 5:00 p.m. ET/4:00 p.m. CT. The weekend will be complemented with concerts by The Chainsmokers, Miranda Lambert, The Black Crowes, and Charley Crockett.

Owen Johnson