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IndyCar eyes technology boost from new title sponsorship

Japanese telecommunications company NTT has said it plans to introduce its technology across IndyCar venues after becoming the new title sponsor of the US motor-racing series.

Under the multi-year deal announced yesterday (Tuesday), NTT also becomes the official technology partner of IndyCar, the NTT IndyCar Series, Indianapolis Motor Speedway (pictured) and the iconic Indianapolis 500 race.

NTT succeeds Verizon in the role, with its fellow telco having served as IndyCar’s title sponsor from 2014 to 2018. NTT Data, a US-based NTT subsidiary headquartered in Plano, Texas, has been a sponsor with the Chip Ganassi Racing team since 2013.

Under the new agreement, the two parties will join forces to deliver digital innovations for sanctioning body IndyCar and its events. This includes evolution of the IndyCar mobile application and integration of NTT’s proprietary Smart Platform to support the series and its racing venues.

Jun Sawada, president and CEO of NTT, said: “Technological innovations have the potential to change the sport and fan experience drastically. NTT, along with our partners, aims to bring the Smart World to life as we have done for Smart City, Smart Entertainment, Smart Mobility and Smart Manufacturing.

“Based on our lengthy and successful experience, including work in mobile applications, analytics and user experience, we will help to create the next generation of fans globally who aspire to enjoy racing through a more digital experience with IndyCar.”

Mark Miles, president and CEO of Hulman & Company, which owns IndyCar and Indianapolis Motor Speedway, added: “IndyCar’s rise in popularity is a testament to the fact that we’ve made the sport as accessible as possible to our fans, and we plan to continue in that mission.

“We have a history with NTT through NTT Data’s involvement in the sport with Chip Ganassi Racing. We know this partnership will help us attract the next generation of fans to what remains the most competitive racing program on the planet.

“When I think about the future growth of IndyCar, what’s more important than developing technology? It drives our racing, our teams. Everybody in the paddock needs data in usable form to improve.

“We take 50 million data records off the cars in an average two-hour race. To me, that’s content. With NTT, we can make that usable and compelling content for fans that will continue to grow the sport and attract younger fans.”

Image: Indianapolis Motor Speedway