Panasonic moves into NASCAR

Toyota Formula 1 sponsor Panasonic is moving into NASCAR this year - but not with Toyota. Panasonic Broadcast & Television Systems Company, a subsidiary of the Panasonic Corporation of North America, the American arm of Japan's Matsushita Electric Industrial Company, will be the title sponsor of Sterling Marlin's Ginn Racing Chevrolet at 12 of the 36 races and will be a subsidiary sponsor on the car at the other 24 events. The car will be sponsored by Waste Management for the remaining events.

The decision to go with Ginn Racing appears to have been made at local level but is odd given that Toyota is launching its assault in the Nextel Cup this year.

Panasonic started out as a brand designed for America because Matsushita could not enter the US market in 1955 with its National brand as that had already been registered by other companies. The decision was thus taken to create a new name for the products and this ultimately was adopted for all the international markets.

Panasonic has been heavily involved in the development of soccer in the United States in recent years.

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