DETROIT, Mich. — IndyCar has a new title sponsor.
The series is now the NTT IndyCar Series, in a new title sponsorship deal with NTT Data, which is an IT and data analysis company based in Tokyo, Japan. Mark Miles, president of Hulman and Company which owns IndyCar, said it was a perfect fit.
“We started talking about this possibility not to long ago, near the end of the championship I think in early September,” Miles told a crowd at the Detroit Auto Show. “In no time at all, soon we were invited to Tokyo.”
It was there Indianapolis 500 winner Takuma Sato helped the two sides come to an agreement, said Miles. He said the deal is more than just NTT putting their name on the series. It also extends to NTT providing analysis of data pulled from cars for IndyCar teams and fans.
“We take 50 million data records off the cars in an average two hour race,” Miles continued. “To me that’s content. With NTT we can make the usable and compelling content for fans and we can continue to grow IndyCar.”
“This is a huge chance for us to let people know who NTT is,” said Tsunehisa Okuno, executive vice president and head of global business for NTT. “Everyone knows about IndyCar and there is room for growth in the European market and the Japanese market.”
NTT Data is not new to IndyCar. Since 2013 they have been the lead team sponsor for Chip Ganassi and his racing team for drivers such as Scott Dixon, Tony Kanaan, and Ed Jones. Miles said it was that preexisting relationship that help fuel the two sides coming to an agreement.
NTT replaces Verizon as the title sponsor after Verizon said before the start of last season they would not renew their title sponsorship deal with IndyCar.
The first race of the 2019 season is just under two months away at the Firestone GP of St. Petersburg.
(PHOTO: Courtesy of the NTT IndyCar Series)