SBD/February 22, 2013/NASCAR Season Preview

NASCAR Sponsors Want More Out Of Partnership Now Than Ever Before

Harvick delivered race tickets and beer to two fans with Budweiser's Clydesdales
Richard Childress Racing CMO Ben Schlosser said that NASCAR sponsors are “looking for more of an interactive experience these days” after brand exposure was “coveted in years past,” according to Chris Graham of the Daytona Beach NEWS-JOURNAL. There are “scads of potential customers of a sponsor” brought to the track, given a “rundown on the company's product and taken around the garage area before the race.” Drivers are “more involved -- whether its Kevin Harvick with the famed Budweiser Clydesdales delivering race tickets and beer to two lucky fans, or Richard Childress and his grandson and driver Austin Dillon going on a pheasant hunting trip and decked out in Bass Pro Shops gear in South Dakota.” Chip Ganassi Racing President Steve Lauletta said that before the recession, “a logo on the side of a car was the main reason a company would sign on as a sponsor.” He said, "Now they're looking for 100 other reasons. We need to find those potential reasons that align with their assets." Lauletta said that one of those reasons pitched to companies “is the corporate marketplace allows businesses to mingle with others they normally wouldn't come in contact with on a daily basis.” Graham notes even in a “slumping economy, some can see a big return on their investment.” DRIVE4COPD, a health initiative that pushes for screening for a serious lung disease known as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, reportedly “used its partnership with NASCAR to engage with 2.5 million prospective patients in two years.” Meanwhile, NASCAR noted that 5-Hour Energy “reported $30 million in sales from $10 million invested in its race car” (Daytona Beach NEWS-JOURNAL, 2/22).

SIGN HERE, PLEASE: Joe Gibbs Racing on Wednesday announced a "sponsorship from BrightSky, a supplier of diabetes testing equipment," for driver Darrell Wallace Jr. when he races in the NextEra Energy Resources 250 Friday at Daytona (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 2/21)....G&K Services has renewed its sponsorship of JD Motorsports' No. 01 NASCAR Nationwide Series Chevrolet that will be driven by Mike Wallace this season (G&K Services).

CANADIAN DEALS: TSN announced that Canadian Tire will be the official automotive retailer and title sponsor of the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series and Canada Tire Motorsports Park in Ontario. Dodge will be the official vehicle of the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series. TSN also announced Pinty’s Delicious Foods as the official wingman and sponsor of the Wingman of the Race Award. Toyota during the Sprint Cup Series broadcasts on TSN and TSN2 will sponsor the “Toyota Keys to the Race with Michael Waltrip” (TSN).
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