SBJ/May 7 - 13, 2007/This Weeks News
NASCAR puts food in one basket
Published May 7, 2007
NASCAR is creating a brand extension for its food-related licensees and sponsors — NASCAR Cooks! — that will bring them together as part of a uniform selling platform.
Just as NASCAR Performance brought the automotive products under one umbrella in 2003, NASCAR Cooks! will provide its clients with a marketing tool to enhance their promotions.
NASCAR officials will be at the Tour of Chicago Food Show today to announce the brand extension to exhibitors.
Mark Dyer, NASCAR’s vice president of licensing, describes food as a growing category among sponsors and, especially, licensees, where Monogram Foods, Birchwood Foods and others are producing everything from NASCAR-branded hamburgers to smoked sausage and even fruits and vegetables. NASCAR licensees and sponsors do not have to pay a promotional fee to be included in NASCAR Cooks!.
NASCAR Cooks! will undergo a soft launch in the coming months with a nine-week promotion that begins in July. A more thorough retail plan will go into effect in 2008.
“Performance has been very successful and we think Cooks is more of a seasonal play,” Dyer said. “The strength of this is the summertime when you’ve got warm weather and lots of outdoor activity. When you think about Memorial Day, the Fourth of July and Labor Day, that gives us three big anchor events we can activate around.”
Integral to NASCAR Cooks! will be the ability to display many of these licensees and sponsors in groceries as part of a branded promotion. The first promotion, “Party at my place,” will introduce NASCAR Cooks! to consumers and retailers from July 2 through Aug. 27. Birchwood’s NASCAR burgers and ESPN analyst Rusty Wallace will be prominent in the display.
As part of the program, a “RaceDay Recipe” contest will ask fans to submit their favorite recipes at NASCAR.com using NASCAR Cooks! products. Fans will vote for their favorite recipe and the winner will receive a NASCAR viewing party at home, complete with Wallace and a 52-foot Birchwood tailgating trailer.
Dyer anticipates that noted chef Mario Batali, who wrote “Mario Tailgates NASCAR Style,” will figure into NASCAR Cooks!.
“We’ve got a good roster of licensees and sponsors, and this is going to be a great asset for them,” Dyer said.