The Verizon IndyCar Series will need a new name after the 2018 season, IndyCar CEO Mark Miles said Friday.
Miles confirmed to several media outlets, including Racer.com and Sports Business Journal, that Verizon Wireless will end its title sponsorship of the series after next season.
“We truly appreciate the significant resources—both financial and technical—that Verizon has invested in IndyCar," Miles said in a written statement to SPJ. “Our series and sport have benefitted across a variety of fronts as a result of our work together, and they have been great partners."
The departure leaves IndyCar with two major issues to address before the end of the 2018 season. Not only will the open-wheel series need a new sponsor, but its contracts with NBC-TV and ABC/ESPN are set to expire.
Verizon, which became title sponsor before the 2014 season, has been heavily involved with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in upgrading wireless technology at the track, although has not been a condition of the sponsorship.
Terms of the five-year sponsorship were not disclosed when it was reached in 2014, but sources told IBJ it was worth a $10 million a year and had an option to be extended for another five years.
Verizon replaced clothing brand Izod, which joined the IndyCar Series in 2008 as the official apparel provider and became the title sponsor in 2010.