The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit have now weighed in on which company can have its logos on Virginia native, Jeff Burton’s car.
For the last few years, the car driven by Burton has been bright orange and sponsored by Cingular. When Sprint, then Nextel, took over as Nascar’s sponsor, it obviously sought and obtained language in its contract which would prohibit other wireless companies from sponsoring cars. The wireless companies already in Nascar at that time (e.g., Cingular, Alltel), however, were grandfathered in and allowed to continue.
Once AT&T purchased Cingular, it attempted to change the branding on Burton’s car to AT&T. Nascar and Sprint obviously refused to allow AT&T to do so. AT&T then requested and received an injunction allowing it to change the logos on Burton’s car to the familiar AT&T ones. I have never checked, but I have speculated that the injunction only allowed the logos to be changed, since they kept the car orange.
Today, the Court of Appeals, held that AT&T lacked standing and dismissed the injunction.
It will be interesting to see what Burton’s car will look like at the next race.