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Logano's Verizon PSA Could Be Sign Of More Mobile Device Firms Getting Back Into NASCAR

Logano's Verizon PSA Could Be Sign Of More Mobile Device Firms Getting Back Into NASCAR

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NASCAR driver Joey Logano's appearance in a new Verizon digital spot marks the "first time that Logano could do work for Verizon because Cup [Series] drivers were barred from doing commercials for the company after Nextel entered the sport" in '04, according to Bob Pockrass of ESPN.com. A "longtime Team Penske sponsor, Verizon is using Logano to encourage students to aspire to be engineers or do other tech jobs." Now that Monster Energy has replaced Sprint, drivers and teams "once again can align themselves with other mobile carriers and phone manufacturers." The "last time Verizon had any connection to the Cup was seven years ago." After Verizon bought Alltel, it sponsored Penske drivers in the Cup Series in '09 and '10, but "could not have its logos on the car because the grandfather clause in the NASCAR agreement with Nextel prohibited any new cellular sponsorships." Verizon then "moved all its support to IndyCar" following '10 and now is title sponsor of that series. There are "no additional plans by Verizon to use Logano at the moment, as the new spot is a "baby step into seeing more mobile device companies getting back into NASCAR." Logano appears alongside Cavaliers F LeBron James and Saints QB Drew Brees in the spot. The "shorter version of the Verizon ad that appeared" during the NCAA Tournament "doesn't include Logano and some of the other athletes." The longer version online "does, and Logano believes it will help his brand" (ESPN.com, 4/19).

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