Chip Ganassi Racing confirmed on Wednesday morning that their 27 year association with Target in the Verizon IndyCar Series will come to an end at the end of the 2016 season.
Target who have been with the team for 27 years are currently the primary sponsor of reigning series champion Scott Dixon in the No.9 Chevrolet. In a phone interview with the Associated Press, Senior Vice President of Target Scott Nygaard commented by saying:
It was a really difficult decision that we made — we’ve been with Chip Ganassi Racing for 27 years and we are ridiculously proud of the success, But the Target brand is about being fresh and new, so we felt like this was the time to make the difficult decision and expand our sports marketing platform.
The decision for the Minneapolis based company to leave IndyCar will not affect their ongoing relationship with Chip Ganassi in NASCAR as they have a contract to be the primary sponsor to Kyle Larson until the end of 2017.
Ganassi and Target have been one of the most successful partnerships in Verizon IndyCar Series history with Jimmy Vasser winning their first championship together, Juan Pablo Montoya winning their first Indianapolis 500 in the year 2000. The partnership has dominated the Indianapolis 500 in recent years with Dario Franchitti and Scott Dixon between them winning in (2010 and 2012, Franchitti and Dixon in 2008).
Speaking about the partnership, Chip Ganassi commented by saying:
It’s the greatest sponsor in racing, ever, They’ve been nothing but good to me. They developed me personally and professionally. I’ve developed lifelong friends and relationships. I understand things change and people have different marketing efforts, and the way they want to stamp their name on things. But it’s one of the longest running sponsors in racing and they delivered for me and the team, and the team delivered for them.
Speaking about Scott Dixon, Ganassi commented by saying:
This kid is a Hall of Famer,
Nygaard was full of praise for Dixon saying:
He is a true class act, a gentleman on and off the track, He’s always stood tall for the values of Target and the Target brand. He’s done more than we could ever ask for.