AT&T files suit against NASCAR

AT&T files suit against NASCAR

AT&T files suit against NASCAR
March 27th, 2007

Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - On Monday, AT&T filed a motion in the U.S. District court of Atlanta to allow its logo to be added to the car driven by Jeff Burton in NASCAR's Nextel Cup.

Two weeks ago, Richard Childress Racing, the owner of Burton's No.31 Cingular Chevrolet, had asked NASCAR for permission to add the AT&T logo to the car. NASCAR denied permission saying it violated the agreement it made with series sponsor Sprint/Nextel.

When Nextel signed an exclusive 10-year, $750 million deal with NASCAR it allowed Alltel and Cingular to be grandfathered in with the No.12 and No.31 teams. But the agreement stated that neither competitor could increase the size or placement of its logo on the car or switch its sponsorship to another team.

AT&T argues that the contract does not contain language preventing a logo change if Cingular is bought out by another company. Which is exactly what happen. BellSouth, which owned the Cingular brand name, recently completed a merger with AT&T and the Cingular name is to be phased out.

"While it is unfortunate that there is a matter in litigation, it is important to know that NASCAR is defending every driver, team and track by protecting a sponsor that benefits everyone," said NASCAR spokesman Ramsey Poston.

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