SBD/31/Events Attractions

HAS THE BRICKYARD 400 PASSED THE INDY 500 AS IMS' JEWEL?

          NASCAR's Brickyard 400 at the Indianapolis Motor
     Speedway will be televised live Saturday at 1:00pm ET on
     ABC, and in Indy, Bill Koenig reported that there is "ample
     evidence" that the "younger [IMS] sibling ... is closing in
     on the [Indy] 500 as the event -- and as an economic
     development tool."  Hoteliers and ticket brokers say that
     demand during the Brickyard "rivals" that of the Indy 500. 
     Last year, about 15,000 people showed up at the RCA Dome for
     a Ford Motor Co. promo featuring NASCAR drivers, and Ford
     sponsored a similar event Wednesday.  Koenig wrote that the
     Brickyard "is becoming a backdrop for sponsorship
     announcements and race-related promotions during the second-
     half of the long NASCAR season."  This year, GA-based
     Realtree Outdoor Products will debut its new line of Dale
     Earnhardt-licensed clothing at the Brickyard (INDIANAPOLIS
     STAR-NEWS, 7/30).  In Ft. Worth, John Sturbin wrote that
     NASCAR's Brickyard 400, "aided and abetted by the wrist-
     slitting rift" between CART and the IRL, "is closing the
     popularity gap" on the Indy 500 (STAR-TELEGRAM, 7/30).      
          LVIS IS IN THE BUILDING: In Indy, Bill Koenig reports
     that IMS execs reached agreement Wednesday with ABC to use
     PVI's L-VIS virtual advertising system.  IMS will test the
     ads of four corporate partners: Miller Brewing, Chevrolet,
     NAPA and Pennzoil.  The sponsors will not pay extra, as the
     spots are part of their total marketing package.  IMS also
     hired MI-based Joyce Julius & Associates to tape the race to
     see how much air time each sponsor received via the virtual
     ads.  IMS VP/Sales & Marketing John Newcomb said that "if
     the test works," virtual ads could be sold for next year's
     Indy 500 and IRL events (INDIANAPOLIS STAR-NEWS, 7/31). 
            FROM THE BRICKYARD: Indy area ticket scalpers "report
     far better business" for the Brickyard than for the Indy
     500, when many tickets were sold at face value on race day
     (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 7/30)....In Indy, Chris O'Malley
     profiles RCA's ScanTrak, which allows listeners to keep up
     with track happenings and "listen to the oft-salty
     conversations between drivers and crews."  The suggested
     retail price for the scanners is $249.  O'Malley writes that
     while Thomson Electronics "won't quantify potential sales
     for the scanners ... it doesn't take an economist to figure
     that time is right for such a product" (STAR-NEWS, 7/31).

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