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Old 8 Jan 2002, 17:11 (Ref:195571)   #1
Liz
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Liz should be qualifying in the top 10 on the gridLiz should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
Brand X Loses Northern Lights Sponsorship

Taken verbatim from today's Toronto Sun (gloating faces added):

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Lights Out - Those smirks IRL president Tony George and company have been wearing since Roger Penske moved his team to the series from rival CART were wiped away yesterday [] when Northern Lights Technology -- IRL's primary sponsor - signed off after two years of a five-year deal. "We understand the business challenges Northern Light has been facing, and we admire the positive way it has responded to those challenges," George said. George, whose deep pockets and ownership of Indianapolis Motor Speedway were all that kept the IRL alive in its first few years [] said the IRL is discussing new sponsorship with several companies, which he did not identify, although an agreement might not be in place until the 2003 season []

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Okay, now you can insert the hysterical Doom and Gloom, "Oh, no the IRL is doomed to fail, is this the end, what will you watch when the IRL goes bankrupt, oh no, oh dear, waaaaah waaaaah waahhh" speeches here.

Me, I believe I'll have another
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Old 8 Jan 2002, 18:34 (Ref:195653)   #2
Craig
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How secure is the FedEx deal with Cart ?
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Old 8 Jan 2002, 21:51 (Ref:195793)   #3
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Crash Test should be qualifying in the top 5 on the gridCrash Test should be qualifying in the top 5 on the grid
...And how much is the Fedex sponsorship worth anyways?

I suppose the dot.com bubble had to burst sooner or later onto motorsport, and I think you'll find that the IRL will bounce back.
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Old 8 Jan 2002, 22:09 (Ref:195799)   #4
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Liz should be qualifying in the top 10 on the gridLiz should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
So let me get this straight. The IRL loses a team AND its primary sponsor, and "it will bounce back - no big deal." Champ Cars loses a team and RETAINS its primary sponsor, and it's the end of the world and they might as well fold up and die now so we can bury them?

Exactly why is this, please? :confused:
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Old 8 Jan 2002, 22:45 (Ref:195815)   #5
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And all it's engine suppliers, and it's forced to change it's rules, and because of that it loses the confidence of half it's teams, sponsors, etc. Just remind me how close Team Kool Green were to going to IRL again...?

Hate to say it, but CART has been mismanaged and is in very real danger of disappearing unless something major is done to stop the slide. This exact order of events has happened before to other championships... what's to say it won't again ?
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Old 8 Jan 2002, 22:47 (Ref:195816)   #6
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I am also curious about this. :confused:

I also find it interesting that there has been no mention of IRL teams' funding difficulties (Galles shut down, PDM - no driver or sponsor, several others still with no primary sponsor). How deep are TG's pockets????? How healthy is the IRL, really?
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Old 9 Jan 2002, 14:09 (Ref:196017)   #7
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Liz should be qualifying in the top 10 on the gridLiz should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
Because the IRL is not a public corporation, we don't know exactly what is going on with them -- could it be that they are in even worse trouble than Champ Cars, but because The Man That Ruined Indy is the sole owner/dictator, we are just not hearing about their troubles?

And should we infer that because we aren't hearing about them, they aren't having them?

Seems to me this is something like saying the Soviet Union under Stalin was a more stable country than the United States, because evrything the USA did was right out front at the time and Stalin's true depredations were not found out until 1989 or so.

Not that I am comparing TG with Stalin. Exactly. But I say he is no Bernie.
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Old 9 Jan 2002, 15:42 (Ref:196077)   #8
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SevenGrain should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
Oh No, I can see it now, The Marlboro Indy Racing League....
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Old 9 Jan 2002, 19:51 (Ref:196243)   #9
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Liz should be qualifying in the top 10 on the gridLiz should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
I believe all tobacco sponsorship is required to end after the 2002 season, according to the Master Agreement of 1998. Thus if nothing can be put in place until 2003, it can't be Marlboro.

Perhaps Penske will sponsor them out of his own pocket? That'd make good business sense, right?
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Old 9 Jan 2002, 20:02 (Ref:196253)   #10
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Speedworx should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
The IRL will survive. Its just ganed Penkse. Penske would not have joined if the series was in trouble.
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Old 9 Jan 2002, 21:00 (Ref:196282)   #11
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I don't agree with that. penske joined the IRL because Marlboro said so. They have wanted to be at Indy since 1995 and now they are.
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Old 9 Jan 2002, 22:13 (Ref:196316)   #12
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Crash Test should be qualifying in the top 5 on the gridCrash Test should be qualifying in the top 5 on the grid
I don't think CART is in trouble- they have a very competitive series, well supported, and growing around the world.

I was of the opinion that so long as they have strong competitor number they could easily bounce back. Now, teams are leaving left right and center, so how many cars are we going to be left with for next season??

Also you've got to remember that the IRL has become more popular with the American public (maybe the IRL's popularity hasn't changed, just CART has slid down the popularity scale?).

I love both, but I feel that CART better do something drastic or it'll be curtains.

"Because the IRL is not a public corporation, we don't know exactly what is going on with them -- could it be that they are in even worse trouble than Champ Cars"
- If the IRL have any idea at all, they will take a look at CART and decide NOT to become a public corporation...
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Old 12 Jan 2002, 03:39 (Ref:197391)   #13
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If I remember correctly, Northern lights still has at least another year (maybe two) to go on it's legally binding contract with the IRL. There is surely a buy out clause or penalties for pulling out. Now, Tony can pocket that money and look for an even bigger series sponsor.

While it is not a good sign that the new sponsor is not already in place, there is still time for it to happen. There are plenty of rumors about Marlboro, Coors light and others. There have even been rumors of talks between George and Fed Ex! Lots of potential sponsors are watching carefully to see which way the pendulum will swing next, but we all know which way it is currently going. It don't see that changing. Tony has had enough of shakey sponsors and is undoubledly holding out for a really good, solid, longterm partner. All this fits in with George's plan of slow, steady, longterm growth.


And if not, so what? The league has a great network TV contract with it's closest rival now on "the speed channel" (AKA "Nascarvision"). The speedway has two other mega races that pull in plenty of money, so I just don't see cash flow as a league problem.

Now that the speedway renovations are nerely complete, the place will be so awash with cash that Tony might even sponsor a dozen or so cars himself. Capital investment. Ain't America great?
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Old 13 Jan 2002, 15:06 (Ref:198064)   #14
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paulzinho should be qualifying in the top 5 on the gridpaulzinho should be qualifying in the top 5 on the grid
I wanna see what Pook is going to do. I think he can RE_INFORCE CARTs status WORLDWIDE. Ok they had a bad year last year but they have something the IRL does not. An international fan base and a sponsor.
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Old 13 Jan 2002, 16:30 (Ref:198088)   #15
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I prefer CART, even tho I have not seen a full IRL race as I don't have Sky Sports. I have only seen highlights on Eurosport during 2000
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