SBD/August 19, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship

Wheels And Deals: NASCAR Allows Film To Title Sponsor A Race For First Time

Universal Studios' "Fast Five" will title sponsor the Sept. 16 Camping World Truck Series race at Chicagoland Speedway, marking the first time a movie will attach its name to a NASCAR event promoting its DVD release. "Fast Five" stars Tyrese Gibson and Jordana Brewster will serve as grand marshals for the Fast Five 225, and Gibson will sing the national anthem. In recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month, Chicagoland Speedway will produce ads and promotions targeting the local Hispanic community leading up to the event. Universal is scheduled to release "Fast Five" on Blu-ray and DVD on Oct. 4 (Chicagoland Speedway).

TAKING STOCK
: ESPN.com's John Oreovicz wrote Danica Patrick "is going stock car racing," and the move is "the worst-kept secret in motorsports." Oreovicz: "The only question was when, not if. And, like everything else in Patrick's career, it's been dictated more by marketing than by actual motor racing." Patrick "pretty much lost her interest and motivation in Indy cars when she took her first laps in a stock car at Daytona International Speedway in February 2010 -- and saw the long lines at her merchandise trailer, lines of people patiently waiting to spend their hard-earned dollars." Oreovicz wrote not only has Patrick's "talent as an Indy car driver peaked but her marketability in the series has, as well" (ESPN.com, 8/18).

CREDIT WELL EARNED: ESPN the Magazine's Ryan McGee said Richard Petty Motorsports majority Owner Andrew Murstein and his partners deserve credit "for stepping in and doing what looks like a legitimate job." McGee: "We’ve seen outside investors come in before and not take care of business. He appears to have done that." Team namesake Richard Petty "also gets a lot of credit because he’s the one that got all these people in the room.” Petty and the RPM organization “over the years ... have caught a lot of flak for handling things poorly financially with the earlier versions of Petty Enterprises. But they should get a lot credit here because they got the people in the room that now have those cars legit top-15 contenders on a weekly basis” (“NASCAR Now,” ESPN2, 8/19).

OWNERSHIP FORMULA: SKY.com's Mark Kleinman cited sources as saying Singapore billionaire Peter Lim is "buying a minority shareholding the McLaren Group," which owns the McLaren F1 team. It is unclear "how large a stake Lim is buying in McLaren although the deal is likely to value the company at hundreds of millions of pounds." Kleinman noted it is unknown whether Lim, worth an estimated $1.6B, "will have a seat on the McLaren board, although it wouldn't be surprising if he does" (SKY.com, 8/18).
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