SBJ/May 28 - June 3, 2001/Marketingsponsorship

INSIDE THE DEAL

THE DEAL:

Men's Health magazine signs as a major associate sponsor of the PacWest CART racing team.

ESTIMATED VALUE:

$1.75 million to $2 million

LENGTH:

Started in May and runs through the end of the 2001 CART season

DEAL MAKERS:

Paul Turcotte, publisher, Men's Health; Zak Brown, president, Just Marketing; Ted Minch, business development manager, PacWest Racing

KEY ELEMENTS:

 Sign on engine cover of both PacWest CART cars

  Sign on nose of both PacWest CART cars

  Magazine logo on driver and crew uniforms

  Extensive race-day hospitality

  Opportunity for participation at marketing kiosks at racetracks

BACKGROUND:

PacWest racing has two cars running in the CART series. Men's Health gets visibility on both cars. Nextel, Panasonic and Powerware are other major sponsors.

Indianapolis-based Just Marketing put together the deal for the magazine. The company exclusively represents corporate clients for motorsports involvement.

Men's Health is published by Rodale Inc. It has a monthly U.S. readership of 8.3 million and more than 20 million readers worldwide.

ANALYSIS:

File this under beginner's luck: The first race for the Men's Health sponsorship was a victory. Driver Scott Dixon won the Lehigh Valley Grand Prix at Nazareth (Pa.) Speedway on May 6. This deal works for Men's Health in large part due to Dixon, a rookie driver who's considered a rising star on the CART circuit (veteran Mauricio Gugelmin drives PacWest's other CART car).

Dixon's youth (he's only 20) and his rigorous fitness schedule make him a figurative — and perhaps literal — poster boy for the magazine. The magazine plans to create some advertorial content featuring Dixon and hopes team sponsors will buy some of the ad space. It's a pricey deal for Men's Health, especially given the rough year in the magazine industry. The exposure for the magazine might sell a few more subscriptions, but the magazine will have to leverage the benefits of this deal aggressively to sell enough ad pages to cover its outlay.

Alan Friedman (alanf100@excite.com) is the founder of Team Marketing Report.

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