Mazda Not Renewing Laguna Seca Naming Rights

Monterey, CA — After Mazda North American Operations (MNAO) and the Monterey County Board of Supervisors announced in May 2017 that they had reached a contract agreement for a one-year naming-rights extension for the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca facility, the County, the Sports Car Racing Association of the Monterey Peninsula (SCRAMP) and Mazda have agreed to allow the naming rights agreement for the track to expire on March 31, 2018.
Mazda will pull out, leaving just Laguna Seca on the signs (for now). Photo: MRLS

The change will take effect April 1, 2018, at which point the racetrack will revert to the original ‘Laguna Seca’ name. Mazda became the title sponsor of the track in 2000.

According to SCRAMP Interim CEO Michael Smith, SCRAMP and the County of Monterey will continue to work with Mazda on a number of sponsorship programs next year after the automaker’s naming rights conclude. “Moving forward, this change opens the door for new strategic opportunities as Laguna Seca Recreational Area is afforded new potential to work with all sponsors including automakers, event organizers and non-motorsport activities on a variety of sponsorships and programs,” Smith said.
As part of the naming rights extension announced in May, Mazda had been given a six-month exclusive right-of-first-negotiation to enter into a new or continued exclusive agreement with the County.
At that time, MNAO’s president and CEO, Masahiro Moro, said, “Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca is truly our spiritual home. We understand the importance that facilities like Mazda Raceway play in sports car racing, which is why we’ve remained dedicated to the facility for so many years. We look forward to working with the Monterey County Board of Supervisors on a long-term agreement that will allow the facility to thrive and remain among the world’s finest race tracks.”

It was the first time an agreement had been made between MNAO and the Monterey County Board of Supervisors. Previously, all naming rights agreements had been between Mazda and The Sports Car Racing Association of the Monterey Peninsula (SCRAMP).