SBD/July 30, 2014/Marketing and Sponsorship

Opening NASCAR Chase Race At Chicagoland To Promote Atrial Fibrillation Awareness

MyAFibStory.com is designed to promote awareness around atrial fibrillation
Chicagoland Speedway has signed a two-year deal valued in the mid- to high-six figures annually for Janssen Pharmaceuticals to title sponsor its fall NASCAR Sprint Cup race. The Sept. 14 race, which is the first in the NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup, will be known as the MyAFibStory.com 400. The name is designed to promote awareness around atrial fibrillation -- AFib for short -- a condition caused by irregular heartbeat. Janssen Pharmaceuticals makes a drug called Xarelto that helps prevent blood clots, which the 2.7 million Americans with AFib have an increased risk of having. AFib is more prevalent with people over the age of 65. Auto Club Speedway Senior Dir of Business Development Fritz Maskrey worked on the deal with Chicagoland President Scott Paddock and VP Scott Howard. The sponsorship is the latest in NASCAR to raise awareness for a health-related cause. The COPD Foundation sponsored the Drive4COPD 300 Nationwide Series race, which was held at Daytona the last several years, as a way to raise awareness for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (emphysema and other lung-related diseases). The deal is Janssen’s second with NASCAR. The company previously sponsored a Nationwide Series race at Auto Club Speedway and Brian Vickers’ No. 55 car in the Sprint Cup race held in California earlier this year. Chicagoland’s Sprint Cup race was previously sponsored by Geico (Tripp Mickle, Staff Writer). In Chicago, Danny Ecker notes the deal is the "fourth new race sponsorship at Chicagoland Speedway this year." The track signed a three-year deal with sandwich chain Jimmy John's to be the "new namesake" of the NASCAR Nationwide Series race in the fall. It also signed Lucas Oil to title sponsor the Sept. 12 Camping World Truck Series race and "switched the Illinois Office of Tourism from sponsoring the Truck Series race to its July Nationwide Series event" (CHICAGOBUSINESS.com, 7/30).
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