I was reading about the merger of Bell South and AT&T where it relates to Cingular wireless name change and how it affects their NASCAR Sponsorship when I came across this article that had interesting ad placement. The Alltel Ad in the Cingular Story, now that's spending your money wisely.
As of the above artice it was still sort of just speculation, but it's been confirmed by AT&T that they are going to rebrand Cingular into AT&T Wireless. On a business minded note I think it sucks. When I think of AT&T wireless I don't think of a great cell phone service. Their service was never great around here.
From a NASCAR point of view, with the RCR #31 Cingular Race team based just 20 miles up the road I'm a little curious. You see, Cingular was already a sponsor NASCAR's Cup level of racing when it changed from Winston Cup Racing to NEXTEL Cup Racing. NEXTEL's deal with NASCAR as the premier sponsor of this series prohibits other competing companies(i.e. wireless providers) to be sponsors. The only exceptions were Cingular, Alltel and Sprint(before that merger with NEXTEL) who were all grandfathered in.
Now that AT&T want's to change Cingular Wireless to AT&T Wireless that means that the race car colors, logos and marketing will have to change to but the NEXTEL Contract (according to what I've heard, read, know) doesn't allow the competing company to change it's branding.
So if AT&T can't get it's rebranding it might just have to drop out of NASCAR's premier series and they've been one of the better sponsors so that would be a shame.
It's going to be interesting to see if NASCAR can mediate this one.
If I was in charge I'd leave the Orange Cingular Logo intact on the car but use the AT&T Colors (and maybe the logo) but without the wording. They may could slip that through. And then verbally call it "Not Cingular" It's all going to be about interpreting the sponsorship. And it may be better for the new brand in the long run to take advantage of the hype and talk that will surround them being locked out of the series.