SBJ/May 28 - June 3, 2007/This Weeks News

NASCAR unleashes LeadDog on Champions Week

NASCAR has selected LeadDog Marketing, New York, to be its agency of record for all of the events related to Champions Week in late November.

Nextel Cup drivers round Manhattan corners in
November as part of Champions Week.

Jim Obermeyer, NASCAR’s managing director for brand and consumer marketing, said LeadDog’s strong history of activation in New York City, site of Champions Week, weighed heavily in the agency’s favor.

NASCAR’s selection of LeadDog should quell any rumors about the banquet and shoulder events moving to Las Vegas, something for which Speedway Motorsports Inc. CEO Bruton Smith has lobbied. NASCAR officials affirmed that even though its deal with LeadDog is for one year, they have no intention of moving the banquet out of New York City.

Staples of Champions Week, such as the “Victory Lap,” where Nextel Cup drivers rumble through Manhattan, and the “Pit Stop Tour, ” a showcar showcase, are expected to continue.

Obermeyer and Dan Mannix, founder and CEO of LeadDog, said they weren’t prepared to discuss any specific alterations to Champions Week.

“Our goal is to just make it bigger and better and create more buzz in a very important market for NASCAR,” said Mannix, whose agency has experience with NBA and NHL all-star week events.

Mannix hopes Champions Week will become more of a destination for NASCAR fans while also creating enough events through the week to generate excitement from those who live and work in the city.

Jack Morton, Velocity and Synergy were the other finalists for the account.

Meanwhile, the selection process for the NASCAR Hall of Fame event business is winding down. Of the 17 proposals submitted, seven agencies were chosen to make presentations. Among the finalists: Just Marketing, Wasserman Media Group and  agencies from the Radiate Group.

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