Craftsman Exiting NASCAR Truck Series Title Sponsorship After 2008
By: Mike Levine Posted: 12-05-07 10:11 PT
© 2007 PickupTruck.com

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Autoblog and Winding Road are both pointing to NASCAR news stories this morning that Sears Holdings, and its Craftsman Tools brand, will drop its sponsorship of NASCAR's Truck Series after the 2008 racing season. Craftsman has been the Truck Series title sponsor since 1995.

Sears Holdings has faced persistent financial problems for several years. It announced last week that third quarter profits dropped 99-percent, from $196-million last year to $2-million. The Craftsman sponsorship is estimated to cost Sears Holdings about $4 million a year, according to Street & Smith's SportsBusiness Daily.

It's not known if exiting the title sponsorship slot is related to these financial results, but Sears has said Craftsman will continue to participate in the Truck Series in some manner in 2009.

Here's NASCAR's Press Release:

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Dec. 4, 2007) – The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing has begun marketing entitlement sponsorship of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series beginning with the 2009 season.

This follows a decision by Sears that its Craftsman brand will forgo its sponsorship rights following the 2008 season.

"Craftsman has been a great, longstanding partner and intends to remain in the sport," said Steve Phelps, NASCAR Chief Marketing Officer, in a joint announcement with Sears. "The current series name will continue through the 2008 season with the same great commitment Craftsman has demonstrated throughout its 13-year history as the series' entitlement sponsor."

"The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series represents some of the world’s best racing; the season championship has been determined in the final race of the year in 12 of 13 seasons – including 2007," Phelps said. "The series continues to attract some of NASCAR's most avid fans because of its intense, side-by-side competition."

"Craftsman has been the sponsor of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series since its inception in 1995 and since then we have developed strong relationships with millions of loyal NASCAR fans we value greatly," said Scott Howard, Manager of Marketing Partnerships for Sears. "While we will be relinquishing title sponsorship of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series at the end of 2008 we continue to explore new opportunities within NASCAR."

The series just wrapped up a successful 13th season of 25 races at 22 tracks in 19 states from coast-to-coast. Ron Hornaday Jr. won his third series championship with a record $1,137,044 in winnings.

The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series is carried live by SPEED with two events broadcast live by FOX.

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