Friday, June 1, 2007

Court won't move up NASCAR's AT&T appeal

NASCAR's appeal of an injunction issued by a U.S. District Court judge to allow AT&T's logos on the No. 31 Richard Childress Racing car will not be moved up earlier than the previously scheduled hearing date of Aug. 2.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit in Atlanta denied the request from NASCAR and Sprint Nextel for the hearing to be held sooner.

U.S. District Court Judge Marvin H. Shoob issued his injunction May 18 to allow the AT&T logos on the car driven by Jeff Burton.

AT&T sued NASCAR to get the logos on the car after it merged with Cingular. NASCAR and Sprint Nextel (sponsor of the Nextel Cup Series) argued that a grandfather clause that allowed the Cingular logos did not permit a change because of a merger.

The judge ruled in favor of AT&T because NASCAR's annual licensing agreement with RCR did not explicitly prohibit the change in logos because of a merger.

Sprint Nextel argues that the value of its sponsorship - estimated at $700 million-$750 million over 10 years - has been diminished because of the ruling.

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