SBD/Issue 51/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

Ford Hosts 43 Sweepstakes Winners At Homestead-Miami Speedway

Ford completed its Ford Fiesta sweepstakes at Homestead-Miami Speedway, hosting 43 fans at the track and awarding one a new Fiesta in a drawing by Richard Petty. The drawing, which was held trackside yesterday, concluded a three-month campaign that featured Ford drivers A.J. Allmendinger of NASCAR and Ken Block of rally car in a series of online videos and TV spots. Both drivers drive the No. 43 car, which Ford used as the foundation for an online sweepstakes that offered fans a trip to the Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. More than 50,000 people entered the sweepstakes. The winners stayed at Loews on South Beach, attended a Zac Brown Band concert on Thursday night, met drivers Allmendinger and Block, and attended the Nationwide Series and Sprint Cup Series races. Ford Fiesta Brand Manager Sam De La Garza said, "We wanted to leverage those two platforms (NASCAR and Rally) to bring those two worlds together. We've stuck to traditional NASCAR in the past, and we really tried to open it up more to a new demographic."

MISSION TO MARS: During yesterday's Cup race, Mars Chocolate hosted roughly 12 employees from seven manufacturing plants who volunteer to promote the company's NASCAR sponsorship throughout the year. Mars calls the manufacturing employees its NASCAR ambassadors and relies on them to spend a few hours a week promoting the NASCAR sponsorship during the year. Darnette Vickers, of Mars' Hackettstown, N.J. plant, said that she gets employees to predict where Mars-sponsored driver Kyle Busch will finish each year. The winner gets an autographed hat. She also runs weekly NASCAR questions that tests employees NASCAR knowledge. Participants who answer 26 of 33 questions right are eligible for a host of prizes from an iPod Touch to a Wii gaming system. The prizes are purchased with a stipend provided by Mars. Of the 170 people at the Hackettstown plant, 75-80 typically participate, Vickers said, adding, "Considering NASCAR isn't a big sport, that's a good ratio. It's all about engaging people about all the parts of NASCAR." Mars Chocolate VP/Sponsorship & Sports Marketing Suzanne Beaudoin said the ambassador program has allowed the company to foster interest in its NASCAR sponsorship among all employees. Beaudoin added, "It would be very difficult to touch the plants without (the ambassadors) support."

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