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  1. thisiskspraydad says:

    Have to agree with AT&T on this…Nextel became title sponsor KNOWING that other cell companies were car sponsors…why should AT&T not be able to sponsor (in this case rebrand) a vehicle they have supported for years?

  2. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    I don’t know anything about NASCAR…but does this have something to do with having to wait till the end of a “season” to chang the paint?

  3. rbb says:

    Sorry to burst your bubble AT&T, but I do not rush out and buy a product just because you put a sticker on a car that goes round and round a track.

    And it certainly won’t get me to return to “Cellular One/Cingular/AT&T/how many other companies you’ve swallowed up” because a sticker does not make up for crappy service and poor coverage.

  4. megnificent says:

    @: No, NASCAR teams change their “paint” routinely. For example, last week the #48 had a Kobalt Tools paint job instead of the normal Lowe’s logos because the race was the Kobalt 500. It has nothing to do with the ability to change the cars’ skins. Seems like this is Nextel throwing their weight around. Although, I don’t see why the Ma Bell logo would bug them if the giant Cingular stickers don’t.

  5. isadora says:

    Could the crass commercialism of NASCAR be any more repugnant?

    I used to work with a woman who loved her NASCAR driver/car so much that she wore a Viagra varsity-style jacket! To work! HUGE Viagra logo! I just don’t understand.

  6. Antediluvian says:

    I’m more intrigued by the claim of “substantial and irreparable” harm.

    Isn’t that what they (cell companies in general) claim their customers are NOT facing when presented with a contract change?

    Yet they claim it when it’s convenient.

    If it doesn’t work for consumers, it shouldn’t work for companies. And if you’re going to claim it yourself, you should let your customers do so too.

    Of course, while I’m dreaming, I’d also like a pony and world peace.

  7. Tnymntna5 says:

    I guess just because a car is plastered with company logo stickers, does not mean we will all “rush out” to buy that company’s product, but as long as it’s being talked about, I guess that is all that really matters to them.

    I too have to agree w/ AT&T on this one. Really, what is the diffrence between “cingular” logo and the AT&T logo on the #31 car? Is it still not a “phone” company on that car? NASCAR officials are a bunch of RETARDS!

  8. thisiskspraydad says:


    Viagra, go huge or go home.

  9. skehl says:

    Surely there is a contract covering this. I wonder what it says. If there isn’t AT&T should be stuck to the end of the contract period.

  10. castlecraver says:

    @AlteredBeast: Nope. The same car will run multiple alternate paint schemes week-to-week. See Jeff Gordon: he’s ran the rainbow DuPont colors, the green and white Nicorette colors, and the blue Pepsi colors (and possibly others) alternately for the past few years.

    @rbb: That’s admirable. Can I assume you’ve never been at least a tiny bit motivated to purchase a product due to placement, sponsorship, or otherwise clever marketing?

    I’m also with AT&T on this — sponsors willing to pony up for a season-long primary sponsorship are really hard to come by, and NASCAR would be doing a disservice to its teams by placing unreasonable restrictions on the sponsorships. Nextel made consolations for the present telecom companies when they signed the deal, including allowing for more subdued display of the Nextel logo on the uniforms of the teams with other telecom sponsors.

  11. abartonkc says:

    @thisiskspraydad: When Nextel signed on to become the title sponsor for NASCAR’s premier division (Nextel Cup Series), there were stipulations in the contract between Nextel and NASCAR that allowed all existing wireless providers to continue sponsorship of drivers, but they would not allow for any additional wireless sponsors or allow existing sponsors to change their name or logo due to rebranding or a merger or acquisition.

    This allowed Cingular and Alltel to continue existing sponsorship. AT&T is now wanting to rebrand Cingular to AT&T wireless and Nextel is rightfully objecting to this change. If AT&T was so concerned with their NASCAR sponsorship, they should have taken this into consideration before rebranding Cingular.

  12. mac-phisto says:

    i don’t see what the big problem is. let them take their logo off the car & walk away with no branding. what was that at&t? you want your sponsorship money back? sorry, no can do – you signed a contract. oh, btw, there’s a $50 brand removal fee & a $200,000 ETF. buh-bye now.

  13. HearsMusic says:

    @abartonkc: Thanks for the additional info. Obviously there was more at play than just Nextel wanting to throw its weight around.

    There was another car that had to be rebranded last weekend, they mentioned during the telecast that Motorola wanted to have a paint scheme advertising a particular phone handset, but Nextel/NASCAR said “don’t think so.” They ended up making it a generic “Motorola” scheme with some kind of MP3 player tie-in.

    Nextel is absolutely entitled to call the shots on the race series to which they shelled out huge bucks to carry its name.

    /watches NASCAR when not watching F1. (Go Juan Pablo!)

  14. VG10 says:

    What is the big deal?

    Nextel has rights that NO ONE can change or be adding to the cars or teams if they are a cellular company. case closed.

    ATT has two options, leave the decals on the car, or remove them, either way they are under contract to sponsor the team. the team had nothing to do with them buying another company.

  15. Ben says:

    Somebody tell AT&T I’ll put their logo on MY car for $50.

    Tell Nextel the same thing.

    Hell, I’m easy.

  16. brilliantmistake says:

    It’s nice to see the cell companies competing over some paint on a car fender, instead of petty things like product quality and customer service.

  17. Jesse McBesse says:

    Ok, AT&T! How about you give me a new phone since mine has the old Cingular logo on it?

  18. latemodel says:

    NASCAR is not interested in the problems of a particular team. Nextel writes the big check (to NASCAR)and NASCAR will keep them happy. NASCAR has run into this issue multiple times now with the Official WhatNots of NASCAR. I wonder if Nextel has weighed the amount of free marketing AT&T is receiving from the lawsuit? Or Sunoco, another corporation being a crybaby over the sponsorship deal with Shell, especially after the Shell car won the Daytona 500.

  19. saikofish says:

    Haha! My phone still says “Cingular” on it. And who put it there? Why, Cingular’s own network, of course. Cingular is doing substantial and irreparable damage to AT&T?

  20. Bay State Darren says:

    “AT&T, which claims to have spent $100 MILLION since entering NASCAR in 2001″.

    That’s right folks: One hundred million (100,000,000.00) dollars in six years. Painting their logo on a car. A car that is shown on TV going 200 mph. (And yes, probably other parts of Nascar, too.)

    For all you ATT/AT&T/Sprint/Ma Bell/whatever the hell they’re calling it this year customers who wonder, “Why must my cellular telephone bill be so high, can they not afford to let me keep just little bit more of my hard-earned money?” Now you know where your money goes. Cell companies always claim high rates go to network upgrades, customer service progress (yeah right) and other benefits for us and why must we be so dumb and hate ourselves to not want to give them money for that since obviously it makes our lives magically better-now you know where it actually goes.

    Seriously, ATT, nobody buys a phone because Jeff Gordon drives its logo! It’s not like if you keep this money in the pockets of your customers, people will suddenly stop buying phones.

  21. Smashville says:

    Don’t underestimate the power of NASCAR advertising. Do you know how many millions of fans choose Budweiser over any other beer because “Junior” is sponsored by them?

    It also helps that Miller now sponsors one of the least popular drivers on the circuit (who had his own drunk driving incident a few years back and is ironically named Busch).

  22. xkaluv says:

    Ding Ding… Let the games begin. NASCAR just sued AT&T! []