SBJ/March 26 - April 1, 2007/This Weeks News

Rebel yellow: Sprint Nextel color going on walls

When NASCAR fans watch the 2007 Nextel All-Star Challenge, Dean Kessel wants them seeing yellow. Lots of yellow.

A rendering shows how Lowe’s Motor Speedway
will look with yellow retaining walls.

Sprint Nextel’s signature event in May will feature a new enhancement at Lowe’s Motor Speedway — yellow retaining walls around the racetrack.

Just as other sporting leagues dress up their playing field for special events, Sprint Nextel wants the All-Star Challenge to have the look and feel of a unique race.

“It’ll be subtle, but very impactful,” said Kessel, Sprint Nextel’s director of NASCAR Nextel Cup marketing. “When you see this race, you’ll quickly recognize it as special. It’ll have an All-Star feel.”

Lowe’s retaining wall signage will stay the same, except the background will be yellow instead of the traditional white. Kessel said Sprint Nextel will pay to have the walls painted and said that he hoped to create some type of media event with the actual painting.

The walls will return to their traditional white for the Busch Series and Nextel Cup races the following weekend.

The yellow walls are part of an overhaul that Sprint Nextel has engineered for its race this year. A change in race format was announced in January. Additionally, a pit-crew challenge and a charity golf tournament highlight the week leading up to the May 19 race.

Keeping with the theme of yellow, Kessel’s group also came up with the idea of creating new flags to signify the end of each race segment. Since the black and white checkered flag is dropped only at the end of the race, black and yellow checkered flags will be used at the end of each segment. (The all-star race is broken into multiple segments, each of which feature payouts to the top finishers.)

“It’s just more branding on the event to give it a special feel,” Kessel said.

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