Lowe's negotiating naming rights with speedway

CONCORD, NC (WBTV) - Lowe's Home Improvement may not renew a naming-rights deal that would keep the company's name associated with Lowe's Motor Speedway, according to the Sports Business Journal.

If the company and the speedway are unable to reach an agreement, it would end Lowe's 11-year relationship with the Cabarrus County race track and could result in a $3 million loss.  Lowe's was the first company to have naming rights at the speedway.

Marcus Smith, president and general manager of Lowe's Motor Speedway, says talks are ongoing about the naming rights.

"Both companies have benefited as strategic partners for 11 years and we are finishing a one-year extension," Smith said. "Currently, we're still working on and discussing the components of another extension to continue our relationship. Those components have not been finalized, but the process is moving along and we are confident to have this completed in the near future."

A spokesperson for Lowe's Home Improvement told WBTV the company is continuing its discussion with speedway officials concerning the naming rights.  The spokesperson would not comment further.

Lowe's paid $35 million for naming rights at the race track for the initial 10-year deal which ended last year, the Sports Business Journal said in a report.

Last year, the speedway agreed to a one-year extension with Lowe's when they could not find another sponsor, according to the magazine.

If an agreement cannot be reached with Lowe's or if another company doesn't partner with the track, the name will likely revert back to Charlotte Motor Speedway in 2010.

Currently, there are three race tracks with naming rights which run NASCAR races -- Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, Infineon Racetrack in Sonoma, and Auto Club Speedway in Fontana.

Other high profile sports venues in the Charlotte area also carry corporate names.

Bank of America signed a 20 year agreement worth a reported $7 million a year to put its name on the Carolina Panthers football stadium in 2004.  Time Warner Cable Arena is the home of the Charlotte Bobcats, and after going through a number of names over the years, the old Charlotte Coliseum became Bojangles Coliseum in 2009 as part of a 10 year naming rights agreement.