NASCAR revealed a new brand identity including a new logo and announced the new name as well as a logo for the top tier touring series Monday. The new logo replaces the bar mark used by the sanctioning body since 1976.
Shortly after the sanctioning body said the top tier series will be known as the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series beginning January 1, 2017. The new agreement was announced during the season ending NASCAR Awards in Las Vegas on Dec. 1. The multi-year agreement is for the premier series entitlement as well as the annual NASCAR All-Star Race. As part of the agreement, the brand also becomes the Official Energy Drink of NASCAR.
NASCAR said its new brand identity has been in development since early 2016 as part of a broader effort to refresh the NASCAR brand. It was designed to pay tribute to the storied history of NASCAR, incorporating elements of all four previous marks since the company’s inaugural season of 1948.
“Our new NASCAR mark is modern, timeless, and embraces the heritage of our sport,” said Jill Gregory, NASCAR senior vice president and chief marketing officer. “It was important for us to recognize our history and implement a piece of each previous mark in the new design. Our goal was to evolve the sport’s visual identity to make it concise, relevant and functional, while respecting and maintaining the unique qualities of the original mark.”
The top tier touring Series was known as the NASCAR Grand National Series until 1972, when R.J Reynolds tobacco company took over sponsorship. The series became the NASCAR Winston Cup Grand National Division and the series yearly national championship title the NASCAR Winston Cup. That partnership remained until 2003 when the Federal government began restricting activities tobacco companies could do in terms of marketing.
Telecommunications company NEXTEL took over the title sponsorship starting in 2003, and from 2004 until 2008 the top tier was known as the NASCAR NEXTEL Series. NEXTEL merged with Sprint in 2006 and starting in 2008, the top tier became the NASCAR Sprint Cup series. Sprint announced in 2014 that they would not be the entitlement sponsor beyond the 2016 season.