SBD/June 17, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship

HP Signs Three-Year Deal To Become NASCAR's First Official Technology Partner

HP is the first technology-related company NASCAR has worked with since '09
HP has signed a three-year sponsorship deal with NASCAR and plans to "collaborate with the sanctioning body to develop business solutions it can sell globally," according to Tripp Mickle of SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL. The agreement, which sources valued at $2-3M annually, makes HP Enterprise Services "the sport’s official technology partner." The company is NASCAR’s "first partner in that category and the first technology-related company it’s worked with since exited its official deal" in '09. The deal "developed as a result of HP’s work with NASCAR creating the sport’s Fan & Media Engagement Center." The Charlotte-based center "uses HP software and hardware to track and analyze social media trends." HP began "pitching the Fan & Media Engagement services to clients," and last week brought NASCAR Senior VP & CMO Steve Phelps to Las Vegas to "speak about the center at HP Discover, an annual event showcasing the company’s products and business solutions." The company plans to use its sponsorship to "develop additional technology and business innovations that it can then pitch to clients." HP is "less interested in using its NASCAR sponsorship to reach the sport’s fans than using NASCAR as a high-profile, business partner it can showcase to companies in which it wants to sell innovations that integrate its computers, servers and software." The company "didn’t even make media or activation commitments to tracks, teams or drivers in its deal." NASCAR Chief Sales Officer Jim O'Connell said, "It’s a major step in technology and innovation for NASCAR" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 6/17 issue). Meanwhile, SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL's Mickle & Ourand note NASCAR next month "opens its exclusive negotiating windows with ESPN and Turner." Sources said that the nets will "open talks July 1 and have 45 to 60 days to negotiate exclusively for the rights to 23 Sprint Cup races" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 6/17 issue).
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