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CART NEWS & NOTES
Published March 27, 1998
CART has jointed with MI-based Valassis Communications and IL-based Marketing Events to create a FedEx Championships Series-themed FSI to reach more than 40 million homes through national newspapers on July 26. The FSI program is targeted toward female and family demos and will offer consumer package good companies the ability to align with CART. CART Dir of Marketing Jeff Gooding said that first-time program "is part of our broader, integrated marketing plans for 1998." Valassis will publish the consumer inserts and secure distribution while Marketing Events will bring advertisers into the program (CART). JAPANESE IMPORT: CART will race its Budweiser 400 in Montegi, Japan, the first time the series has held a race in that country. In Indianapolis, Bill Koenig wrote that although some "major Japanese" companies are involved in CART -- including Honda, Toyota and Panasonic -- the racing series "sees the potential for more corporate involvement." Koenig: "The hope is having an annual race will get Japanese race fans enthused about the CART series and Japanese companies interested in sponsorships. The timing, however, isn't the best. Japan's economy continues a six-year slump, with no recovery on the horizon" (INDY STAR-NEWS, 3/24). GAMES WITHOUT FRONTIERS: In Chicago, Herb Gould wrote of CART's expansion where it is "trying to keep pace in a world where NASCAR has been widening the gap as the most popular arm of auto racing." CART has added a street race in Houston for '98 and is "exploring" the possibility of adding a race in Germany to go with its international forays in Japan and Brazil. CART is also targeting Chicago for a Labor Day '99 race (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 3/26). COVERAGE: ESPN Int'l will air the '98 CART FedEx Championship Series full season schedule on its international networks. ESPN Int'l also has agreements to syndicate the series, which began last weekend, to broadcasters worldwide (ESPN International).