The France family have reportedly engaged with Goldman Sachs to explore a potential sale of NASCAR, according to.
Discussions of the potential sale arise while NASCAR is struggling to attract fans, reporting a 54 percent decrease in attendance revenue over the past decade from the tracks owned by public companies that report those figures.
Bill France Sr. founded NASCAR in 1948, acting as chairman and CEO until his death in 1992, turning over ownership to his family. While NASCAR is notoriously tight-lipped about its ownership structure, Jim France – France Sr.’s one surviving son – and Lesa France Kennedy – France Sr.’s granddaughter – act as co-owners, according to ESPN.
Over recent years, NASCAR has struggled to employ charismatic, headline drivers, losing Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr. as well as, more recently, Danica Patrick and Tony Stewart. Even further, NASCAR has lost lucrative sponsorship deals with Sprint, UPS, and Home Depot.
A potential sale could be difficult, though, as there is no guarantee race teams will continue their partnership with NASCAR beyond 2020 when the charter agreement expires. Under the current structure, teams split 25 percent of revenue, with racetracks taking 65 percent, and NASCAR earning the remaining 10 percent. According to ESPN, the sale could prompt teams to push for a larger share with a suitor looking for assurances that the charter agreement would be extended.
Potential bidders include Marcus Smith, president of Speedway Motorsport Inc., and Comcast, which already sponsors the Xfinity Series.
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