By: Toby Christie, Editor — Follow on Twitter @Toby_Christie
On Monday, Reuters first reported perhaps the largest headline in the 70-year history of NASCAR. According to the report majority owners of the sanctioning body are locked up with investment bank Goldman Sachs to explore a sale of NASCAR.
The Reuters report was confirmed in another report by ESPN’s Bob Pockrass and Darren Rovell.
First off, this is huge. Nobody outside of the France family has held the keys to the NASCAR offices since 1948.
Obviously exploring a sale of a sport, is much different than closing the deal, but just the fact that the France family is potentially looking to walk away from a business that their patriarch Bill France Sr. founded is earth shattering.
Spokespeople for the sport are mum on the report – shocker, but perhaps that speaks to the realistic nature of this report. If it was a totally unrealistic report, the spokespeople would more than likely squash the rumor immediately.
With what we have heard in these reports, your mind begins wonder. Who would be interested in buying NASCAR? Well a lot of people.
Tony Stewart or Dale Earnhardt Jr. would probably like to own the sanctioning body, but even with how wealthy those drivers are it will take much deeper pockets to walk away with a chunk of ownership stake in NASCAR.
When a Twitter user tweeted that Earnhardt would be the next owner of NASCAR, Earnhardt Jr. responded with “I ain’t got it man.”
I ain’t got it man. https://t.co/xKXQgpAi0V
— Dale Earnhardt Jr. (@DaleJr) May 7, 2018
But perhaps a large chunk of former competitors mixed with other folks from within the industry (Felix Sabates or Rob Kaufman perhaps?) could pool together to gain ownership of the sport. That would be cool, but any time you require a bunch of people to be on the same page in a business dealing, things get dicey.
According to the ESPN report, Marcus Smith, President of Speedway Motorsports Inc., could be in the bidding. Smith and his family attempted to buy the Carolina Panthers a few months ago but backed out when the price tag became too high.
This would be an interesting shift in the sport though as SMI has had to buy tracks and close them down throughout their history to get their own race tracks on the schedule. With full ownership of the sport, you would imagine that wouldn’t be the case any longer.
If the bidding gets too high for Smith, then the chances are a large corporation that has an interest in acquiring the sanctioning body will be the top bidder.
With steaming services popping up left and right, exclusivity deals are gold these days. Someone like Comcast with their XFINITY brand would make a lot of sense. But the same would be true for other brands and services who are in that same streaming television battle royal.
Who knows where we go from here, but we will certainly keep an eye on this story as it continues to unfold.
Photo: Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images