In this article AT&T is quoted as saying that NASCAR is REQUIRING then to not only remove the AT&T name and logo immediately, BUT also they MUST have the name Cingular on the car.
AT&T, in a motion filed today in U.S. District Court asking the court to expedite another preliminary injunction hearing, called NASCAR's actions "unreasonable and vindictive" and indicated that its Go Phone scheme was similar to one used in May 2005.
"NASCAR insisted that not only must AT&T Mobility remove the 'AT&T' name and logo immediately, but also that AT&T Mobility feature the very name, 'Cingular,' that AT&T Mobility has spent millions of dollars removing from the marketplace," AT&T states in its motion.
AT&T had won an injunction on breach of contract grounds as U.S. District Court Judge Marvin Shoob ruled May 18 that NASCAR's grandfather clause in its licensing agreement that gives RCR a car number allowed for the Cingular logos to be changed to AT&T following their December 2006 merger.
But the U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that because the grandfather clause (enacted in 2004 when Nextel became the primary sponsor of the Cup Series) was designed to benefit RCR and not necessarily Cingular, that AT&T could not sue under breach of contract grounds.
AT&T said it attempted to compromise this week by not including the AT&T globe and the Cingular name on its Go Phone scheme but that NASCAR rejected it Wednesday because the Cingular logo was too small.
"AT&T Mobility has removed the AT&T logo and name from the car, consistent with the Court of Appeal's decision," AT&T states in its motion to have a hearing as early as the second week of September. "That should be enough for NASCAR and Sprint Nextel.
"But now NASCAR wants to ensure that AT&T Mobility's customers are confused by insisting (apparently at the behest of Sprint Nextel) that AT&T Mobility prominently and with large and bold type display 'Cingular' on the #31 car when AT&T Mobility is in the process of completing its name transition."
The actual motion for a new preliminary injunction will be filed Friday in Shoob's court, AT&T indicated in its filing Thursday.
"NASCAR has approved multiple paint schemes for the 31 including a Cingular Go Phone scheme," NASCAR spokesman Ramsey Poston said. "The 31 has many, many options from which to choose. This is about living up to the agreements that were made.
"In 2003 we made an agreement with RCR to keep its sponsor in the series. We believe that agreement should be honored. Finally, remember that Sprint Nextel benefits all competitors and we have a contractual obligation on behalf of the industry to protect the exclusivity."
AT&T spokesman Mark Siegel said AT&T is still unsure of what paint scheme will be used for the race Saturday night at Bristol.