Thursday, August 16, 2007

AT&T: Logos will remain in place this weekend

AT&T plans to have its logos on the No. 31 Nextel Cup car for Richard Childress Racing this weekend at Michigan International Speedway.


Although the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned an injunction permitting the logos, AT&T still has time to request a reconsideration of the ruling, and until that process is over, it can keep the logos on the car. AT&T is expected to ask for the reconsideration Friday.


"This weekend, we will be running the car with the AT&T brand," AT&T spokesman Mark Siegel said late Thursday afternoon while declining to discuss the company's legal strategy. "The legal process is moving along. I can't predict what will happen after [this weekend].


"We respect the decision the court has made, and we're looking at a variety of options."


AT&T has argued that NASCAR's grandfather clause for telecommunications sponsors, enacted in 2004 when Nextel became the series sponsor, allows it to change the logos from Cingular to AT&T on the Jeff Burton car.


NASCAR claims it does not allow for the change, which AT&T wants since it was involved in a merger with Cingular in December 2006.


The original injunction was issued on the basis that AT&T was considered a third-party beneficiary of the grandfather cause included in RCR's annual licensing contract with NASCAR.


The appellate court ruled that because the grandfather clause was written to allow RCR to keep a sponsor - and not for the benefit of Cingular (now AT&T) to be on a car - that AT&T was not part of the contract and could not sue under breach-of-contract grounds.


Once the injunction phase is over, NASCAR and AT&T eventually could go to trial over the issue. NASCAR has countersued AT&T for $100 million.

No comments: