Archive for January 15, 2019

DETROIT – INDYCAR announced on Tuesday that global information technology and communications leader NTT has signed a multiyear agreement to become the entitlement sponsor of what is now officially named the NTT IndyCar Series.

In addition, NTT becomes the official technology partner of INDYCAR, the NTT IndyCar Series, Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Indianapolis 500. The announcement came during media days for the North American International Auto Show at the Cobo Center.

“Having a strong technology partner is critically important to INDYCAR’s continued growth, so we are thrilled to welcome NTT as our new title sponsor,” said Mark Miles, president and CEO of Hulman & Company, which owns INDYCAR and Indianapolis Motor Speedway. “INDYCAR’s rise in popularity is a testament to the fact that we’ve made the sport as accessible as possible to our fans, and we plan to continue in that mission.

“We have a history with NTT through NTT DATA’s involvement in the sport with Chip Ganassi Racing. We know this partnership will help us attract the next generation of fans to what remains the most competitive racing program on the planet.”

NTT has a 150-year history in technology and communications, dating to its roots in 1869 when the telegraph was first introduced in Japan. NTT was established in 1952 as a government-owned corporation and privatized in 1985. The company is globally a top-five IT services provider and generates more than $106 billion in annual revenue. NTT DATA, a U.S.-based NTT subsidiary headquartered in Plano, Texas, has been a sponsor with Chip Ganassi Racing in the NTT IndyCar Series since 2013.

Under the new agreement, INDYCAR and NTT will partner to deliver digital innovations for sanctioning body INDYCAR and its events. This includes evolution of the INDYCAR mobile application and integration of NTT’s proprietary Smart Platform to support the most diverse and challenging series in motorsports and its racing venues.

“NTT is proud to be associated with INDYCAR and accelerate the future of smart racing,” said Jun Sawada, president and CEO of NTT. “Technological innovations have the potential to change the sport and fan experience drastically.

“NTT, along with our partners, aims to bring the Smart World to life as we have done for Smart City, Smart Entertainment, Smart Mobility and Smart Manufacturing. Based on our lengthy and successful experience, including work in mobile applications, analytics and user experience, we will help to create the next generation of fans globally who aspire to enjoy racing through a more digital experience with INDYCAR.”

The NTT IndyCar Series puts many of the best racers in the world on the most demanding variety of tracks to decide the season champion and recipient of $1 million and the Astor Cup. Competition takes place on temporary street circuits, permanent road courses, short ovals and superspeedways like the iconic Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The 2019 season consists of 17 races, starting with the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on March 10, including the 103rd Indianapolis 500 on May 26 and concluding with the INDYCAR Grand Prix of Monterey on Sept. 22.

INDYCAR’s expanded presence on network television in 2019 through its new partnership with NBC Sports Group will not only include the 103rd Running of the Indianapolis 500, along with other action at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in May, but also the IndyCar Series’ new season finale at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca near Monterey, California.

Eight of this year’s 17 IndyCar Series races will air on NBC, representing a 60 percent increase of network television exposure over a season ago. NBCSN, entering its 12th consecutive year telecasting INDYCAR events, will air nine races. The television schedule for IndyCar Series qualifying sessions will be announced later.

All INDYCAR on-track action will be available through NBC Sports, with nearly 350 hours available between linear television and digital streaming coverage. NBC Sports Gold, NBC Sports’ direct-to-consumer streaming product, will offer a package – INDYCAR Pass – that will feature live IndyCar Series practice and qualifying sessions, same-day race airings and Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires events. Details on how to sign up for INDYCAR Pass on NBC Sports Gold will be announced soon.

This year marks the first season for NBC Sports Group as the exclusive home of INDYCAR.

“This will be the most complete and robust season of INDYCAR viewing for our fans,” said Mark Miles, president and CEO of Hulman & Company, which owns INDYCAR and Indianapolis Motor Speedway. “Fans can not only see everything that happens on the track, they can see races at their convenience on the same day via INDYCAR Pass, which until now had not been available.”

The Indianapolis 500 will air on NBC for the first time this year. “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing,” the largest single-day sporting event in the world, will receive special promotion with inclusion in NBC Sports’ “Championship Season” marketing campaign, a May-to-July spotlight of high-profile championship events airing on NBC Sports platforms such as horse racing’s Triple Crown, the NHL Stanley Cup Final, French Open tennis, and the Tour de France endurance cycling race.

INDYCAR coverage on NBC begins with the INDYCAR Grand Prix on Saturday, May 11 from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course. Following the Indianapolis 500 from the iconic IMS oval on Sunday, May 26, NBC will carry both races on Detroit’s Belle Isle street circuit (Saturday-Sunday, June 1-2) and permanent road course races at Road America (Sunday, June 23), Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course (Sunday, July 28), Portland International Raceway (Sunday, Sept. 1) and the finale at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca (Sunday, Sept. 22). The races in Portland and Monterey represent a final push to crown the IndyCar Series champion live on network television.

The 2019 IndyCar Series season kicks off on NBCSN with the street race in St. Petersburg, Florida (Sunday, March 10). INDYCAR’s inaugural race at Circuit of the Americas (Sunday, March 24) also will be on NBCSN.

NBCSN will also telecast three IndyCar Series oval-track races on Saturday nights: at Texas Motor Speedway (Saturday, June 8), Iowa Speedway (Saturday, July 20) and Gateway Motorsports Park (Saturday, Aug. 24).

“As the exclusive home for INDYCAR, NBC Sports will provide fans with more INDYCAR coverage than ever before in 2019,” said Jon Miller, president of programming for NBC Sports and NBCSN. “From centralized, seamless coverage on NBC and NBCSN to unparalleled support surrounding the 103rd Indianapolis 500, one of the most prestigious events in all of sports, NBC Sports will super-serve INDYCAR Nation through its best-in-class television, digital, production and marketing assets.”

DOWNLOAD: 2019 Printable Schedule (PDF)

REGISTER: Automated Mobile Calendar (via CalReply)