The IndyCar Series has a new sponsor for 2019 and, hopefully, many years to come. NTT, a global information technology and communications firm, has signed a multi-year agreement to become the series’ title partner. NTT also becomes INDYCAR’s technology partner, encompassing the IndyCar Series, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the Indianapolis 500 and NASCAR’s Brickyard 400, beginning this year.
NTT DATA has partnered with INDYCAR’s Chip Ganassi Racing over the past few years, serving as primary sponsor of the team’s No. 10 Honda-powered racecar and occasionally lending its colors to the No. 9. Its familiar blue colors have accented a variety of NTT companies, including NTT DATA, NTT Communications, Dimension Data and NTT Security – firms that generate more than $106 billion in annual revenue.
It’s expected that NTT’s capabilities will enhance the evolution of INDYCAR’s mobile application and the series’ adoption of NTT’s proprietary Smart Platform, allowing the company to support the sport of open wheel racing and the many venues INDYCAR visits, thereby allowing the series to deliver better insights for fans around the world.
“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 dramatically. 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,” Sawada continued, “we will help INDYCAR create the next generation of fans globally who aspire to enjoy racing through a more digital experience.”
The 2019 NTT IndyCar Series operates 17 races that it claims to be the fastest, most diverse and challenging racing, operating on permanent road courses, temporary street circuits, short ovals and superspeedway ovals, including the historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s Indianapolis 500, celebrating its 103rd running this coming May.
“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,” declared Mark Miles, president and CEO of Hulman & Company, owner of INDYCAR and Indianapolis Motor Speedway. “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.”
The news of INDYCAR’s title sponsor follows last week’s announcement of its NBC Sports Group television schedule, which places eight of 17 contests on NBC (including the 103rd Indianapolis 500), with nine races on NBCSN. Last year five races were on network television (ABC); the new agreement with NBC increases the number of NTT IndyCar Series events on free-to-air network TV by 60 percent. Additionally, NBC Sports Group is about to launch INDYCAR Pass on NBC Sports Gold, its subscriber-based product that will stream about 350 hours of INDYCAR programming content in 2019.