News & Media

Sprint promotion offers $3 million payout

July 17, 2011, Official Release,

Summer Showdown gives driver, his charity and one fan chance at $1M each

HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. -- Sprint on Sunday announced the biggest promotion in its history as the title sponsor of the Sprint Cup Series: the Sprint Summer Showdown presented by HTC EVO 3D. The six-race series runs from Indianapolis on July 31 to Atlanta on Sept. 4 and puts a $3 million purse on the line for a driver, a driver's charity and one lucky race fan.

'For the long haul'

Sprint's announcement the Sprint Summer Showdown is a measure of the wireless telecommunication company's commitment to NASCAR.

That commitment extends to ongoing negotiations between NASCAR and the title sponsor of its foremost series. Sprint is in the eighth year of a 10-year, $750 million contract that comes to term in 2013. At this juncture, all signs point to a renewal, and Tim Considine, Sprint's director of sports marketing, did nothing to dispel that impression.

"Outside looking in, it makes sense on paper, but you really can't understand what this sport's about -- and the opportunity -- until you're really inside of it," Considine told "Sporting News" on Sunday.

"I think, over the past eight years, we've really come to grow very fond of the opportunity, the fan base, the relationships, and it's been great for our business. Race fans are great wireless customers. We are in negotiations with NASCAR ... Our intent is to be with this thing for the long haul."

-- Sporting News Wire Service


Any driver who wins one of the five Sprint Cup Series events between the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway will become a finalist for the $3 million Sprint Summer Showdown payout on Labor Day Weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway. If one of those five drivers wins the Advocare 500 at Atlanta, then the driver, the driver's charity and one lucky race fan will each collect $1 million.

If a driver should win more than one of the next five races, the number of drivers eligible for the $1 million bonus at Atlanta would be reduced accordingly. However, a different fan would be associated with that driver for each race win, and fans would split their $1 million prize, should a multiple race winner triumph at Atlanta.

"The HTC EVO 3D, the first wireless device that can capture and play back 3D images and video without 3D glasses is changing the game in wireless, so we thought it was appropriate to get the word out with a competition-based NASCAR Sprint Cup Series promotion that changes the game for drivers and fans," said Tim Considine, director of sports marketing for Sprint. "Giving these Sprint Cup drivers the opportunity to win a million for their charity, a million to change the life of a fan, and -- oh, by the way -- a million for their own wallet, will definitely ratchet up the on-track excitement. Add to that the hunt for those Chase for the Sprint Cup wild-card positions and race fans will not want to miss a lap of the action."

Fans can enter each week for their chance at the million-dollar prize by picking which driver they believe will win that week's race at or by visiting the Sprint Experience display at every Sprint Cup Series event.

When they enter, fans will have access to expert picks, driver performance history at each track and more to give them the best chance of submitting a winning entry. After each week's race, one race fan will be randomly chosen from those fans who correctly picked that week's winning driver.

The lucky fan chosen after each race will enjoy an all-expenses paid trip to Atlanta Motor Speedway and be there in person to see whether his or her driver can win at Atlanta. If that driver claims the Sprint Summer Showdown presented by HTC EVO 3D, the fan will win $1 million. Fans can change their picks until the scheduled start time for each event.

"It's always great to win, but to make a difference in the lives of other people by doing so is why I'm excited about the Sprint Summer Showdown," Carl Edwards said. "The fans are what make this sport, and helping charities accomplish their goals is extremely important to me. I'm hoping I'm the guy that gets to hand over $1 million to some lucky fan and to charity. I'll do everything I can to make it happen."

Tim Considine, director of sports marketing for Sprint, said the idea for the Sprint Summer Showdown had been in the works for approximately eight months. The trigger was the June launch of the HTC EVO 3D phone.

"We actually started thinking about it early last fall, when we first got wind of the product and its capabilities, and we knew we had to do something big -- something that would really hopefully own a conversation with the fan base over a six-week period," Considine told Sporting News. "When we got confirmation of the launch date, that's when the dates and the races really fell into place."

DateTime (ET)TrackLayout
Aug. 71 p.m.Pocono Raceway2.5-mile triangle
Aug. 141 p.m.Watkins Glen International2.45-mile road course
Aug. 211 p.m.Michigan International Speedway2-mile oval
Aug. 27 7:30 p.m.Bristol Motor Speedway0.533-mile oval
Sept. 4 7:30 p.m.Atlanta Motor Speedway1.54-mile oval

The six races that make the Sprint Summer Showdown presented by HTC EVO 3D will be contested on a variety of unique track designs, from the half-mile oval at Bristol Motor Speedway to the road course at Watkins Glen International, playing to different drivers' strengths.

For contest rules and additional information, visit

The Sporting News Wire Service contributed to this report.