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NASCAR GOES TO THE MALL: WATCH OUT FOR THOSE SPEED BUMPS!
Published October 10, 1995
NASCAR is planning to put its name on merchandise stores and "speed parks," according to the current issue of BRANDWEEK. NASCAR is reportedly close to announcing plans for "both concept stores and speed parks -- go cart and stock car racing amusement centers -- which will open late next summer." They are also "looking for other sports leagues and associations to co-brand the speed parks," for example, PGA Tour chipping ranges or MLB batting cages. The speed parks will be built on existing mall and retail outlets, offering NASCAR a "retail base" for its national sponsors. Official sponsors include McDonald's, Pepsi, Gatorade, Die Hard and Craftsman. The concept stores/speed parks plan was conceived through NASCAR's "aggressive new licensing group," which was formed in-house after being handled for the last five years by Battle Enterprises (Hillary Rosner, BRANDWEEK, 10/9 issue). GM AND UAW FIND UNITY IN NASCAR: General Motors and the United Auto Workers union, "seeking to shed their past image of adversaries," joined as title sponsors for NASCAR's UAW-GM Quality 500 race held this past weekend in Charlotte. Financial details were not available (AD WEEK, 10/2 issue). NASCAR also looked to take advantage of the Winston Cup race in the "heart of tobacco country to issue a visible protest to anti-tobacco legislation proposed" by President Clinton and the FDA. Full- page print ads in several publications, including the event's program, featured the RJR-backed message to Clinton from Richard Petty. Tobacco lobbyists staged a petition drive and also distributed brochures. Petty: "I never thought I'd see the day when the government told me I couldn't paint somebody's name on the side of my car. Hasn't he [Clinton] got more important things to use his executive authority for?" (Holly Cain, TAMPA TRIBUNE, 10/7). Sen. Majority Leader Robert Dole made a "political pit stop" at the Charlotte Motor speedway, and criticized the proposed regulations. Dole: "Let's keep government out of NASCAR racing. If you look at this crowd, about 97 percent are older than 18" (INDIANAPOLIS STAR-NEWS, 10/9). GOODYEAR FOR PENSKE: Goodyear will be the exclusive tire supplier of the 860 Penske Auto Centers, which Roger Penske will acquired from Kmart for $120M. Goodyear says the Penske outlets "will become part of the company's independent dealer organizations effective" when the transaction is complete November 1 (AD AGE ONLINE, 10/10).