SBJ/February 12 - 18, 2007/Marketingsponsorship

Daytona to spend big for race’s 50th birthday

Daytona International Speedway will throw one heck of a party for the 50th running of the Daytona 500 in 2008, and the track is going to spend the next year letting everyone know about it.

Insiders say the track could spend about $10
million on the yearlong marketing plan, which
was to roll out Saturday.

Daytona officials were scheduled to roll out their marketing plan this past weekend, including the 50th anniversary logo, just prior to Saturday night’s Bud Shootout. Industry insiders say the speedway could spend in the neighborhood of $10 million on the yearlong plan, from dressing up the speedway with 50th anniversary signage to retail and merchandising pieces.

Track President Robin Braig said his team already has been at work on the 50th running of the 500 for about a year, even though the event is 53 weeks away.

“It’s retail, merchandise, sponsor involvement, on-field activities, decorating the facility,” Braig said. “We’ve spent $60-some million on the track and we expect to put another few million in it to spruce it up.”

Central to Daytona’s plan is a first-time retail partnership with Kroger, a supermarket with 3,700 stores in 31 states.

Rather than having all of its consumer-goods partners go to market with various sweepstakes and offerings, the speedway is partnering with Kroger to be the retail outlet for special giveaways and promotions.

Retail Sports Marketing of Charlotte worked with Daytona officials to reach the Kroger agreement.

“Doing it this way bands together all of those consumer-product goods into one promotion and it’s going to provide those companies with a lot of in-store exposure,” said John Guthrie, senior director, business development and partnerships at the speedway. “Instead of all these companies putting something together and the retailer is inundated by various groups, the retailer comes out and says, ‘We’re doing this. Is this something you want to be a part of?’ It’s going to be a much stronger program because it’ll last longer and it gives all of our partners the ability to get behind one common message.

“We can take all of our assets — tickets, wave the green flag, go to Gatorade Victory Lane — put all of our resources behind it, and take it to the partners. This is the first time the track is bringing to the CPGs [consumer-product goods] as opposed to the CPGs building it themselves.”

Guthrie emphasized that companies could still formulate their own promotions and take them to a retailer, if they preferred.

In addition to offering promotional opportunities to the speedway’s current partners, Guthrie expects other companies to purchase limited promotional licenses to be a part of the Kroger campaign.

“This is the first chance we’ve really had to test the brand of the Daytona 500,” Guthrie said, referring to the 500’s ranking on Forbes’ list of the most valuable sports events. The Daytona 500 ranked fourth behind the Super Bowl, Summer Olympics and FIFA World Cup.

Gatorade was the first of Daytona’s partners to jump on board, Guthrie said. Gatorade is expected to debut packaging with the 50th 500 logo in the coming weeks.

Thanks to the recently signed deal that makes NASCAR the licensing agent for International Speedway Corp., which owns Daytona International, NASCAR will lead the licensing charge for merchandise with the 500 logo.

Speedway officials will emphasize a different aspect of the 500’s history each month, from great finishes to fans and drivers, through press releases and a strong Web presence. The track hopes to drive heavy traffic to the site, where fans will be asked to contribute their own photos and memories of the race.

Return to top

Related Topics:

Marketing and Sponsorship

Video Powered By - Castfire CMS Powered By - Sitecore

Report a Bug