SBD/29/Sponsorships Advertising Marketing

CHRYSLER LOOKS TO STRENGTHEN PRESENCE IN AUTO RACING

     Chrysler is strengthening its presence in auto racing to
"buttress the sporty mystique" of the Dodge name and bolster
performance across its product line, according to BRANDWEEK.
Chrysler will make its first entry in the Le Mans race with a
Dodge Viper, and it is racing four vehicles in the NASCAR Super
Truck series.  Dodge Exec Dir of Motor Sports Operations Lou
Patane said racing helps Dodge's brand identity at a grass roots
level through increased dealer programs such as ticket giveaways
and local sponsorships.  Chrysler is also racing two Dodge
Stratus sedans at the new Super Touring Championship series,
selling a racing package for Dodge/Plymouth Neon for weekend
races, and taking part in drag racing events by the NHRA.  Racing
imagery is also "likely" as part of BBDO's Dodge ads.  Consultant
Jim Wangers, while "supportive" of their plans, said Chrysler
"needs to get into NASCAR's primary loop" to get the most out of
race-based marketing (Steve Gelsi, BRANDWEEK, 5/27).   RACING
NOTES:  NASCAR's marketing machine was profiled in the WASHINGTON
POST.  Martha Hamilton notes NASCAR fans are, "devoted, not just
to the races and the cars and the drivers, but to the companies
whose corporate logos adorn them" (WASHINGTON POST,
5/26)....Members of Joe Gibbs's McDonald's drag racing team will
appear with McDonald's Winston Cup driver Bill Elliott on 15
million boxes of Kellogg's Raisin Bran in stores soon as part of
a joint promo between Kellogg's, Mattel Hot Wheels and McDonald's
(NATIONAL SPEED SPORT NEWS, 5/22 issue)....IndyCar has named
Allsport as its official photographer (IndyCar)....Kenwood joins
with Circuit City to sponsor the second annual "Speed of Sound
Tour," a series of 10 free concerts in conjunction with major
NASCAR races from May-November (BRANDWEEK, 5/27).
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