SBJ/November 20 - 26, 2006/This Weeks News

Tylenol takes over NASCAR from Goody’s

After vaulting into NASCAR in 2005 with its Team Tylenol campaign, Tylenol will increase its presence in 2007 by replacing longtime sponsor Goody’s Powder as the official pain reliever of NASCAR.

Goody’s, which had owned that space since 1977, was one of NASCAR’s first nonautomotive sponsors and has since put its name on several races at Daytona, Martinsville and Bristol speedways as a title sponsor. The GlaxoSmithKline product also featured Richard Petty in a long-running series of commercials and formerly was title sponsor of NASCAR’s Goody’s Dash Series, a low-level stock car series that NASCAR no longer owns.

“Goody’s has been a valued, longstanding partner to NASCAR,” said Andrew Giangola, NASCAR’s director of business communications. “We greatly appreciate their devotion and support to our sport.”

Eric Bruno, vice president of marketing for McNeil Consumer Healthcare, the makers of Tylenol, said his company struck a multiyear sponsorship deal for the rights to use NASCAR’s name, logo and tag lines in its print and broadcast advertising, in-store displays, Web sites, product packaging and at-track events. Terms were not revealed.

Tylenol also will have promotional opportunities on NASCAR’s Busch and Craftsman Truck circuits as part of the deal.

An announcement was expected this past weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Darren Singer, Goody’s vice president of marketing, said it was NASCAR’s decision to end the nearly 30-year relationship in favor of the more national reach Tylenol provides.

Singer said Goody’s has a three-year deal as the title sponsor of the Nextel Cup race at Martinsville Speedway, beginning next season, and it will continue its at-track activation with the “Fast Relief Zone” at 11 tracks.

Tylenol entered racing last year with the help of its agency Millsport, with the fictional Team Tylenol lineup of drivers. Included among them were Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon, Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson and others. That coincided with Tylenol’s launch of its rapid-release gels and the idea of putting speed at the core of its message.

On top of that campaign, Tylenol acquired exclusive rights deals with International Speedway Corp. and Dover International Speedway, both of which have been renewed. Tylenol has activated on its track deals in the past with signage and at-track handouts of its newest products. It also has used driver names and faces on product packaging, in addition to its online promotions and advertisements.

“Tracks are a big part of our program,” Bruno said. “There’s no better way to make that connection with the fans than by showing up at the track.”

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