Verizon Team Penske founder and team boss Roger ‘The Captain’ Penske has stated that amid suggestions that the Verizon IndyCar Series could expand internationally that he would not like the sport to do flyaway races as he feels they need to concentrate on the US market due to the fact that the majority of the sponsors involved in the sport are American domestic companies.
Although Penske has a point, the likes of Target, Verizon, Snapple and Arrow Electronics to name but a view sponsors involved in IndyCar would benefit from the exposure an IndyCar expansion into Europe.
Not only would the sponsors benefit from such a move but teams themselves and the sport would see a major benefit as James Hinchcliffe told Paddock Eye earlier this week that he would love to see the series race in Europe as there is a big European fan base for IndyCar. Many of the drivers in the series are from Europe and other parts of the world with series champion Scott Dixon hailing from New Zealand.
IndyCar has arguably one of the world’s greatest sporting events on its calendar, the Indianapolis 500 in which to promote itself on a global stage.
Target who are the primary sponsor to the Chip Ganassi Racing Team tried an expansion plan outside of the US when the Minnesota company opened in Canada however shortly after setting up in Canada they pulled out of the market.
IndyCar has raced outside of North America in recent years with a race in Japan and with a very successful event on the streets of Toronto.
Where a lot of the companies involved in IndyCar at a sponsorship level are domestic American organisations, the majority of them have a presence outside of the US and to go to Europe would be a shot in the arm for the series and it is something that Hulman and Co CEO Mark Miles when appointed to his role in 2012 said that he would like to see it happen.
Although it might be expensive for teams logistically this cost would be off set by the exposure that the sport would receive from branching out of North America which would lead to greater potential open up more business opportunities for teams to create revenue.
Verizon have already taken steps to enhance the reach of the Series outside of North America as earlier this week they made the Verizon IndyCar Series Mobile App available internationally.