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YABBA DABBA VROOM! CARTOON NETWORK TO DEBUT CAR AT DAYTONA
Published February 16, 1996
The Cartoon Network will debut its sponsorship of Steve Grissom's NASCAR entry at this Sunday's Daytona 500, according to the ORLANDO SENTINEL. Gene Yasuda writes that NASCAR's popularity is "surging," attracting "hordes of new fans -- including more families, women and white-collar professionals." That is why the Cartoon Network is taking its place among "traditional sponsors," such as Budweiser and Valvoline. Grissom's car will be painted with images of Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble, and the network plans to gain recognition by selling merchandise to NASCAR fans. Hanna-Barbera Enterprises VP Tom Barreca: "We're targeting families, and that's exactly what NASCAR offers." A study by the Newport, RI-based Performance Research indicates more than 70% of NASCAR fans say they "almost always" or "frequently" buy sponsors' products over a competitor's. NASCAR says 29% of its fans report household income of $50,000 or more, nearly 40% are women, and 64% of fans are married. Marketing analysts say NASCAR is attracting fans and sponsors because of expansion. Once a sport prominent only in the Southeast, in the past six years NASCAR has introduced races in Indianapolis, San Francisco and New England. Last year, Winston Cup races attracted 5.3 million fans, up 8.8% from 4.9 million in '94. Marketing experts say NASCAR also benefits from fans' disenchantment with other pro sports and players (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 2/16). SMILE MICKEY! The 500 is "revving up" the tourism industry all over Central Florida and is estimated to bring in over 400,000 racing fans (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 2/16).