SBD/July 19, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship

IndyCar Enters Into Multiyear Marketing Partnership With FirstEnergy Soap Box Derby

IndyCar is "entering a formal, multi-year marketing partnership" with the Akron-based FirstEnergy All-American Soap Box Derby, according to a front-page piece by Jim Mackinnon of the AKRON BEACON JOURNAL. The agreement will "place the IndyCar logo on Derby cars this year in Akron and spread from there in 2014." IndyCar also will "promote and display the Derby logo." Soap Box Derby President & CEO Joe Mazur said that the cross-promotion agreement "does not bring in money to the Derby but will give the nonprofit program significant brand exposure." He added that the Derby will be "promoted in 30-second commercials on giant video screens at IndyCar racetracks, on the IndyCar website and through other measures." Mazur said that IndyCar also is "agreeing to invite local Derby race champions to two of its races," and that Derby race wheels this year "will get IndyCar stickers." He added that at least one IndyCar driver will be "displayed at Derby Downs next week as part of the new partnership" (AKRON BEACON JOURNAL, 7/19).

TURBO-CHARGING INDYCAR'S EXPOSURE: In N.Y., Phil Patton noted DreamWorks Animation SKG's film "Turbo" was "chosen by Izod IndyCar Series racing to widen its exposure to a younger and more family-oriented audience." Several of IndyCar's commercial partners "got on board with the film, including Firestone, Sunoco, Chevrolet and Verizon," and AAA "will have a Turbo-theme safe driving campaign." Film franchises "fit nicely around auto themes but the most successful of them are marketing engines for product tie-ins." If IndyCar's partnership with DreamWorks on "Turbo" is "any indication, auto racing is looking to hook up with the same sort of marketing powerhouse." IndyCar "hopes to connect with a younger audience through an engaging film, and of course, through video games and apps" (NYTIMES, 7/18).
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