Industry veterans know that rebranding Cingular as AT&T is going to be a tough slog that may cost the operator hundreds of millions in marketing dollars.
But I suspect today's top story took many by surprise: AT&T has filed a suit against NASCAR for refusing to allow AT&T to replace a Cingular logo with AT&T's signature globe, and AT&T claims NASCAR is refusing because Sprint Nextel is the lead sponsor of NASCAR's Cup Series. AT&T is seeking a declaratory ruling as well as unspecified damages.
NASCAR claims that its contract with Sprint grandfathered both Alltel and Cingular into the competition with exclusive sponsorship rights for teams. One condition, however, is that the firms can't change the scope of sponsorship beyond a team or the actual name and brand on the car.
For more on AT&T suit against NASCAR:
- see this article over at RCR News