SBD/Issue 93/Facilities & Venues

TMS Execs Capitalizing On New NASCAR Attitude In Billboards

Texas Motor Speedway Billboards Promote
NASCAR's Relaxed On-Track Rules
Texas Motor Speedway officials are "using 15 billboards in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex to tout NASCAR's 'relaxed' attitude regarding on-track action heading into the 2010 Sprint Cup Series season," according to Kenny Bruce of SCENEDAILY.com. The track's "most recent ad campaign meshes the slogan 'Approved' with a variety of Cup drivers and on-track incidents." Examples include a "photo of Joey Logano's No. 20 Toyota in mid-crash," with the slogan, "Approved: Tailgating;" a "battered No. 48 of Jimmie Johnson" with the slogan "Approved: Door Dings;" and a "larger-than-life mugshot of Juan Pablo Montoya" with the slogan "Approved: Road Rage." The track hosts Sprint Cup races on April 18 and November 7 (SCENEDAILY.com, 1/26). WFAA-ABC's George Riba wrote it is "obvious that Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage loves the changes NASCAR had added for next season" (WFAA.com, 1/21).

MICHIGAN CUTTING TICKET PRICES: Michigan Int'l Speedway (MIS) President Roger Curtis yesterday said that ticket prices for the facility's two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races "have been lowered." Curtis: "This is something that should have been done years ago, but it really made sense with the economy being the way it is now. We wanted to find a way to offer prices that made sense to people." In Detroit, David Goricki notes general admission tickets "start at $25, down from $40 with the highest price reserved ticket ... going down from $110 to $105." Meanwhile, Curtis said ticket sales are "down slightly, single digits from the same time last year." Curtis: "We feel we'll be at the same 100,000 mark as last year and that would be a huge success story with today's economy." Curtis yesterday also "introduced Heluva Good as the new main sponsor" of the June 13 Sprint Cup Series race, while Carfax "returns to sponsor" the August 15 Sprint Cup Series race (DETROIT NEWS, 1/27).

TRACK POSITION: Earnhardt Ganassi Racing co-Owner Felix Sabates recently suggested that NASCAR cut back on the number of events it holds, including eliminating both Sprint Cup races at MIS. But SCENEDAILY.com's Bob Pockrass wrote Sabates' suggestion of "moving both races from Michigan just because the state is going through a tough time would be the worst public relations move ever." He added shortening the season to 30 races "would not be the way to go." Pockrass: "In these tough economic times, when sponsors need as much exposure as possible and the sport needs as much publicity as it can get, decreasing exposure to fans in the stands and on television is not the right move" (SCENEDAILY.com, 1/26).

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