SBJ/20100628/This Week's News

IndyCar adding Avis as official rental car

Avis will be the official rental car of the IndyCar Series under terms of a new deal between the parties, with the intent of using the racing circuit as a platform to drive more corporate business.

IndyCar obtained a commitment from Avis this month, and an announcement on the two-year deal is expected this week.

IndyCar is not new to Avis, which has been a sponsor at Penske Racing since fall 2007.

Financial terms of the deal were not available, but industry sources pegged it at mid-six figures annually.

Terry Angstadt, president of IndyCar’s commercial division, said Avis will have a two-pronged attack, with a focus on creating more corporate rentals as well as a national campaign targeting consumers.

Gina Rizzi, Avis’ director of business development, was a guest during IndyCar’s June 5 race weekend at Texas Motor Speedway, where IndyCar held its bNet forum, a business-to-business session that brings IndyCar sponsors together. There, Rizzi spoke about Avis’ initiatives for IndyCar and how it drives corporate rentals with other partners.

“What businesses are finding is that they can get a good, positive return from involvement with our businesses,” Angstadt said. “Avis is a great brand, known for great service, and I think IndyCar will be featured quite a bit in their communications.”

On the consumer side, Avis has plans for a sweepstakes for fans, online promotions and visibility at its outlets within the key race markets.

The IndyCar sponsorship will be integral to Avis’ promotion of its Cool Cars collection, which include Camaros, Mustangs, Corvettes and other sports cars available for rent.

“Car enthusiasts, like those that are fans of the IndyCar Series, are an important target group,” said Avis spokeswoman Alice Pereira. Online marketing and signage at rental locations will be at the core of Avis’ plans, she said.

Mark Sibla, IndyCar’s manager of team business development, worked on the Avis deal.

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