Monster Energy is coming up on a crucial period, as it is determines whether to extend its title sponsorship with NASCAR and its team deal with Stewart-Haas Racing. The energy drink company's deal with SHR expires after this year, while the title sponsorship is slated to run through '18. Sources said that Monster is contractually obligated to let NASCAR know by sometime in December whether it will pick up a two-year option on the original two-year, $20M annual deal that would then extend through '20.
Sources said Monster is looking at recalibrating its investment in the sport next year, as it looks to find an overall spend that it deems as more of a returnable figure. Cuts could come on both the team side and entitlement activation side.
Monster has dealt with growing pains in its first year as the entitlement sponsor, as could be expected, and sources said that has continued in recent months amid issues with driver participation in Monster's marketing and track activation assets like signage and suites. While execs close to the deal concede there have been growing pains, a source disputed that it would lead to any early exit after this season. The source added that such growing pains should be eased significantly next year. NASCAR in recent months has said that it believes it will earn a renewal from Monster, and Covington's public comments on the deal have been almost entirely positive aside from conceding that it has been an adjustment for the company to get used to NASCAR's structure.
--- Sports Business Daily ---