AMD Puts the Brakes on NASCAR

Dennis Faas's picture

I guess AMD just felt like making a right turn for once. The chip maker recently announced it was ending its deal with NASCAR, citing new marketing strategies.

Advanced Micro Devices, or AMD, is the primary competitor of Intel. Last year it acquired ATI Technologies, a move that led to a complete re-evaluation of company marketing tactics and, subsequently, partnerships. According to spokesman for AMD Travis Bullard, that re-evaluation left no room for Jeff, Tony, and the boys from NASCAR.

"When we acquired ATI, we about doubled in size and it brought on a whole new series of products and opened up new markets to us...That required us to take a look at our business model, and we've made changes to our strategies worldwide," Bullard announced. (Source:

It was an odd pairing from the start. AMD joined forces with NASCAR towards the end of 2005, promising to assist the sport with its timing and scoring, research, development, and even wind-tunnel and crash simulation. Although all of the above make sense, it might just be that few IT professionals were watching NASCAR.

Or, it could be that the company is scrambling in the wake of a 52-week market low, with AMD stock dropping to a sad $11.27 at one point. Though it now sits at about $13.23, that's nowhere near $25.69, its high for the year. (Source:

AMD's most significant contribution to the sport came in May of last year, when it partnered with timekeeper Tissot to craft the Mobile Technology Center. That simply meant building a system that could house all of NASCAR's timing and scoring results. As time passed, AMD failed to live up to its promises of contributing to wind-tunnel and crash simulations.

Unsurprisingly, AMD was NASCAR's first true technology partner. Despite the falling out, NASCAR hopes to fill AMD's spot with a similar company.

Will Intel be "inside" your favorite guy's ride?

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