SBJ/September 3 - 9, 2007/This Weeks News

Holiday Inn, UPS fire up 50th Daytona 500 plans

Holiday Inn and UPS are among the promotional partners this fall that have initiated plans to activate around the 50th running of the Daytona 500.

Companies representing more than 40 brands are spending a combined $100 million in activation during International Speedway Corp.’s yearlong promotion of the 2008 Daytona 500, said ISC and NASCAR officials.

Holiday Inn’s sweepstakes will give the winner more
than 100 free nights; merchandise for next February’s
race like diecasts (below) now has its own trailer.
Holiday Inn just launched a “Stay Under Green For Life” sweepstakes that ultimately will offer the winner VIP treatment at next year’s race and 2.9 million Priority Club points (about 116 free nights).

By booking a special Best-4-Breakfast rate at Holiday Inns and paying with Visa through mid-November, guests are automatically entered in the contest. Holiday Inn will support the sweepstakes with print and online advertising, commemorative key cards with “50th race” logos and other in-hotel signage. Up to 350 prizes will be awarded in all.

UPS, an official partner with Daytona International Speedway, plans to use its own driver, former Daytona 500 champ Dale Jarrett, and other past champions in what it will call “Champion’s Chat delivered by UPS.” Daytona500.com will be used for the online chats with previous winners of the race. The feature is expected to launch later this month.

Laura Kouns, motorsports marketing manager at UPS, said she plans at least 10 chats between now and the race next February. Taylor helped arrange the chat series, which is expected to include Richard Petty, Junior Johnson, Mario Andretti, Michael Waltrip, Darrell Waltrip and others.

“We’ve been looking for a way to have a meaningful tie-in to the Daytona 500 and we think this makes sense because we’re delivering a once-in-a-lifetime experience for fans to interact with these champions,” she said.

This weekend’s Richmond race also marks the debut of ISC’s “50th race” trackside trailer, which will offer fans exclusive merchandise — everything from T-shirts and caps to die-cast cars and other souvenir items — with the “50th race” branding. The trailer will visit Talladega, Martinsville and Homestead throughout the Chase for the Nextel Cup and also go to Daytona next year for the 50th running of the 500.

NASCAR, which earlier this year struck a deal to become ISC’s licensing agent, has recently sold the “50th race” mark to a variety of licensees, including Pez Candy and Ty Inc., the maker of Beanie Babies.

This fall also marks the next phase of Kroger’s program, which features close to 40 products with “50th race” packaging available exclusively at Kroger supermarkets. Retail Sports Marketing has orchestrated the program, bringing Nabisco, General Mills, Kellogg, Unilever and others on board.

Logo products have been appearing on Kroger’s shelves throughout the last month, and more support through inserts and direct mail will be emphasized.

“We’re very pleased that we’ve been able to put together a multifaceted program that touches all points of business,” said Roger VanDerSnick, ISC’s senior vice president of marketing and business operations. “We had high hopes, but this has surpassed those. It really reflects the long-range planning for frankly a number of years to prepare for this.”

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