SBJ/January 19 - 25, 2004/Marketingsponsorship

Visa’s Daytona promo shifts into second year

With NASCAR's season-opening Daytona 500 about three weeks away, Visa is reprising last year's Ultimate NASCAR Experience promotion with a bonus element.

Rusty Wallace (left) and Kurt Busch will be part of the Ultimate NASCAR Experience.
Consumers using Visa payment cards between Feb. 1 and Nov. 30 are entered in a sweepstakes, with 10 winners each receiving a trip to a Nextel Cup race, where they will spend the race weekend on the infield, living in a luxury Visa RV outfitted with a plasma TV and hot tub, among other amenities.

The winners will be granted behind-the-scenes access to driver meetings, prime tickets and the chance to schmooze with drivers Rusty Wallace and Kurt Busch, the spokesmen for the Visa promo. A slightly altered version of last year's ad featuring the two will run again on national TV to support the program.

Visa is adding a new winner's bonus to the promotion. If Wallace or Busch wins the race where a Visa winner is being feted, that winner also receives a Visa debit card with $10,000 on it, to be delivered by the winning driver.

Meanwhile, Visa has reserved rights to five other Nextel Cup races and hopes to use those for merchant or bank-specific promotions, which could include supporting a specific issuers card or a program designed to attract usage at a retailer. Aside from the TV spot, support will come in the form of print, online, point-of-sale and ads in credit card statements. The Visa-branded luxury RV that made the rounds last year will again make appearances to support the program.

George Perry, director of event and sponsorship marketing, said that in Visa's research, nearly every metric showed the efficacy of its NASCAR program last year. The data showed that 50 percent of those who were aware of the promo were more likely to use their Visa card, and there were increases in consumer awareness of Visa's NASCAR sponsorship, now in its sixth year.

"This gave us an ownable platform to capture and attract the affinity of NASCAR fans," Perry said. "That's the goal with all of our sponsorship activation."

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