SBD/March 19, 2012/Marketing and Sponsorship

Bank Of America Cutting Back Certain NASCAR Track Sponsorships, Affinity Programs

Bank of America is no longer marketing NASCAR-branded affinity cards
Bank of America has “cut back on some” of its NASCAR track sponsorships, according to Kristen Pittman of the CHARLOTTE OBSERVER. The Charlotte-based bank last year decided “not to renew agreements with nine speedways around the country -- including four venues owned by Concord-based Speedway Motorsports Inc. -- after the contracts expired in late 2011.” It also “ended all five of its International Speedway Corp. track sponsorships.” BofA “continues to sponsor Charlotte Motor Speedway and the Bank of America 500 race, a title sponsorship it has held since 2006.” BofA spokesperson Nicole Nastacie said, "Motorsports remains an important part of our sponsorship marketing program and has deep roots in Charlotte" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 3/18). In Charlotte, O’Daniel & Spanberg note BofA in recent months also has “discontinued its NASCAR RacePoints debit- and credit-card rewards program and stopped marketing its NASCAR-themed cards and accounts.” The move “underscores a newfound devotion to shedding expenses and refocusing customer targets at the nation’s second-largest bank.” Sources said that BofA's racing cutbacks "offer yet another example of leaner sponsorship investments throughout the sport.” The bank “no longer lists its NASCAR Banking checking accounts or its NASCAR credit cards on its website.” But Nastacie said that BofA “has not discontinued the program.” She said that the NASCAR products are instead “still available by special request,” and are “just temporarily not being marketed.” Nastacie added that the bank “isn’t backing away from its support of NASCAR.” BofA last year “renewed its deal as the official bank of the sanctioning body.” It is also a sponsor at the NASCAR HOF, where “it hosted several events for students during last year’s Bank of America 500” (CHARLOTTE BUSINESS JOURNAL, 3/16 issue).
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