SBD/Issue 155/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

P&G's Gillette Brand To Title Sponsor Sprint Cup Race At Pocono


Procter & Gamble on Friday announced that its Gillette brand will sponsor the June 6 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway. The event will be titled the Gillette Fusion ProGlide 500 Presented by Target. The date of the race coincides with the launch of the Gillette Fusion ProGlide shaving system. All the Gillette Young Guns drivers -- Clint Bowyer, Kyle Busch, Carl Edwards, Denny Hamlin Kasey Kahne and Joey Logano -- as well as Ryan Newman will be giving away tickets to the race through various outlets (P&G). In Philadelphia, Pete Schnatz wrote the announcement is a "move that could be viewed as a financial inevitability and/or a break with tradition for the family-owned racetrack," as it marks the "first time since 1996 that Pocono's main spring event will carry a corporate name." Though Pocono Raceway President Brandon Igdalsky "hailed the new partnership as 'a match made in heaven,' it seems a far cry from the stance taken by Joe 'Doc' Mattioli -- the track's founder and Igdalsky's grandfather -- who over the last decade and a half sneered while other speedway owners signed away their naming rights to the highest bidder." Igdalsky said, "The sport has definitely changed. We need to sell tickets, and if doing this kind of thing will give us a farther reach to sell tickets, that's what we'll do" (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 4/24). Igdalsky said that it "took 'some convincing' for Dr. Mattioli to sign off on the one-year deal, especially since the Pocono name was being taken out of the title." But Igdalsky added, "Once he saw the value of what we're getting out of it and what we're able to do with it, he agreed that the timing and the partner was right and that we could talk" (Scranton TIMES-TRIBUNE, 4/24).

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