SBJ/May 23-29, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship

Longtime Daytona sponsor Anheuser-Busch signs four-year extension with track

Anheuser-Busch, which has sponsored Daytona International Speedway for more than three decades, signed a four-year, multimillion-dollar extension with the track.

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A-B will continue to be the naming-rights partner for the 46-foot-high Party Porch along the superstretch.
The deal extends A-B’s title sponsorship of the Bud Shootout, the non-points race that has kicked off the stock car season and Speedweeks since 1979. Budweiser also will get signage at all events hosted by Daytona, including the Daytona 500 and Coke Zero 400. It will continue to be the naming-rights partner for the infield concession area, known as the Budweiser Bistro, and the 46-foot-high platform along the superstretch, known as the Budweiser Party Porch.

“This is one of the main cogs in that [NASCAR activation] wheel,” said Brad Brown, A-B’s senior director of sports marketing. “It allows us to showcase at the start of the year what our racing platform will be.”

A-B is one of Daytona’s five largest sponsors in terms of rights fee and promotional activity. The company promotes its affiliation with the track by using the Daytona logo on Budweiser packaging across the Southeast and nationally at select retailers.

“This relationship is a big one for us,” said Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III. “They’ve been a partner of ours since 1979, and those are the type of partners you have to keep.”

International Speedway Corp., which owns Daytona and 11 other NASCAR Sprint Cup Series tracks, also incorporated rights to Homestead-Miami Speedway in the deal. The speedway hosts the final race of the season, which means A-B will be able to promote its NASCAR ties at both the season-opening and season-ending events.

Negotiations with Daytona began last September, and both parties described them as smooth. Brown said reports of attendance and TV ratings declines in the sport since A-B cut its last deal with Daytona weren’t an issue.

“In totality, the largeness of NASCAR, the fans of NASCAR and the avidity and loyalty of the fans of NASCAR are still great,” he said. “It’s still an unbelievably strong sport.”

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