SBJ/May 11 - 17, 1998/No Topic Name

NASCAR fetes its own 50th

The black-tie gala that NASCAR recently threw for itself in Hollywood was one more example of stock car racing’s governing body making the most of its 50th anniversary.

Though other sports have thrown birthday parties for themselves, it’s safe to say that none has made money off them the way NASCAR will.

NASCAR’s plan for the year is elaborate and far-reaching. Five television networks will air specials documenting NASCAR’s history, growth and future, with TBS up next, running a one-hour special called "NASCAR at 50: Good to Go" on May 31. Promotional programs tied to the anniversary run at tracks across the nation each week.

The sport also has used the 50th anniversary as an entry point for companies that are interested in sponsoring motorsports but aren’t ready to commit to a long-term deal. A dozen companies have signed on as NASCAR’s "50th" logo but not its everyday mark.

NASCAR’s 28 official status companies have rights to the 50th anniversary logo as part of their over-all deal.

"It’s a good revenue opportunity for us now, but the real hope is that they like what they see and it turns into a full blown sponsorship down the road." said John Griffen, NASCAR’s director of communications.


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