Report: Anheuser-Busch switching NASCAR brand in 2016 – NBCSports.com

According to a report by the Sports Business Journal, beer producer Anheuser-Busch had decided to switch its beer brand that is associated with NASCAR, beginning in 2016.

The report says Anheuser-Busch, a primary sponsor on Stewart-Haas Racing’s No. 4 Chevrolet driven by Kevin Harvick, will switch out its Budweiser brand with Busch.

Busch was the brand long associated with NASCAR, beginning in 1982 when it began sponsoring what is now the Xfinity Series. Busch left its role as a title sponsor in 2007, when it was replaced by Nationwide Insurance.

Lucas Herscovici, the vice president of consumer connections at Anheuser-Busch, told the SBJ, “NASCAR continues to be a priority platform for our beer portfolio. We will be shifting our brand equity in [Kevin] Harvick’s car and team from Budweiser to our Busch beer portfolio for the 2016 NASCAR season. The Busch brand is well positioned for this partnership given the brand’s storied history with the sport.”

The report says the reasoning behind the decision is “unclear,” but that sources said Anheuser-Busch “conducted a comprehensive reassessment of its NASCAR deals, some of which were up for renewal in coming years.” Those deals included the estimated $11 to $13 million invested annually into Harvick’s car and the title sponsor of the two, 150-mile qualifying races for the Daytona 500.

SBJ also reported the beer maker weighed the option of exiting NASCAR all together before deciding to switch brands.

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