SBD/Issue 184/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

Bucyrus Sponsorship Keeps Nationwide Series Race In Wisconsin

 

Milwaukee-based mining equipment company Bucyrus Int'l has announced that it will sponsor The Bucyrus 200 on June 19, a NASCAR Nationwide Series race and "first-time event" that will take place at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis., according to Dave Kallman of the MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL. The sponsorship "covers one year, but Bucyrus and Road America have started talking about future involvement." Bucyrus CEO Tim Sullivan said what really "struck my interest is when the Milwaukee Mile and the promoters of the Milwaukee Mile were struggling to keep" the Nationwide Series race in the area. The Milwaukee date "essentially moved 65 miles up I-43 to Elkhart Lake," and Sullivan said, "We wanted to make sure that we didn't lose another opportunity to keep a major event here in Milwaukee. I mean, we lost the (PGA Tour) golf tournament. And you start to lose those things as a community and it becomes a situation where, very quickly, you become that large small-city or large small-region." Kallman noted the idea of a race sponsorship "had been around Bucyrus for at least five years." But Sullivan said that the "trigger came during a business trip ... when he and several other executives found themselves checking their BlackBerries simultaneously for updates on a NASCAR race." Sullivan added that Bucyrus "will use the race as an employee perk, in place of its company picnic this year." Additionally, "several hundred employees and customers plan to travel from Europe and South America for the event." Sullivan said that the sponsorship provides the opportunity "to strengthen business-to-business relationships." Sullivan: "When we said that we were going to sponsor the race, some of our domestic customers asked if they could run some commercials during the telecast. So it's stretched even beyond our company" (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 6/6).

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