SBJ/October 1-7, 2012/Marketing and Sponsorship

TWC to sponsor Hendrick entry in four Cup races

Time Warner Cable is taking its “Enjoy Better” slogan racing.

The company, which debuted the new marketing slogan earlier this year, signed a three-year agreement with Hendrick Motorsports to become a four-race, primary sponsor on the No. 5 car driven by Kasey Kahne. It will unveil its new paint scheme Oct. 10 and make its NASCAR Sprint Cup Series debut at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Oct. 13.

The deal expands on a six-year licensing agreement Time Warner had with Hendrick Motorsports that allowed the company to use Jimmie Johnson and other Hendrick drivers in advertising and promotions.

Financial terms of the new agreement weren’t available, but sources said Hendrick Motorsports was shopping races on Kahne’s car earlier this year for as much as $550,000, which would make the Time Warner deal worth more than $2 million annually.

Time Warner Cable CMO Jeffrey Hirsch said NASCAR fans represent an important consumer demographic in key markets such as North Carolina and Texas, and said expanding the company’s agreement with Hendrick to include four primary races would give it exposure in those markets.

“To be more present every week with a guy [Kahne] who’s able to really knock the socks off the sport was a good opportunity for us,” Hirsch said. “It aligns with what we’re trying to do with ‘Enjoy Better.’”

The company will incorporate Kahne into its “Enjoy Better” campaign. The campaign, which was developed by Ogilvy & Mather, has a budget estimated at $80 million. It currently features athletes such as the New York Giants’ Victor Cruz in advertisements that promote how Time Warner Cable makes it possible for consumers to enjoy watching movies, playing video games and surfing the Web better. The marketing message around Kahne will be that NASCAR fans can enjoy motorsports better with Time Warner.

There is a business-to-business element to the agreement, as well. Time Warner Cable sells advertising on its local news and sports channels such as News 14 in North Carolina. Hendrick Automotive has dealerships in 12 states, and Hendrick Motorsports can help Time Warner Cable’s sales team with introductions to its local dealers. HendrickCars.com, a division of Rick Hendrick’s automotive company, also has begun placing national advertising buys.

CAA Sports assisted Time Warner Cable on the deal.
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