NASCAR will kick off its 50th Anniversary celebration
tonight with the '97 NASCAR Winston Cup Awards banquet at the
Waldorf-Astoria in New York City. The event can be seen live
on ESPN at 9:00pm ET. For its golden anniversary, NASCAR
will feature its largest integrated marketing and media
program ever, with its six TV partners and more than 20
sponsors and 40 licensees participating in the year-long
celebration. GA-based Primedia has worked in conjunction
with NASCAR on the campaign, which features the tagline "This
is NASCAR." The 50th Anniversary logo will be unveiled
tonight and be featured throughout the year on all NASCAR
materials. The logo was designed by Jamie Skiles of NY-based
Bone Design (THE DAILY).
PARTNERS: NASCAR's 22 Official Status Sponsors for the
Anniversary are: Pontiac, Coca-Cola, Anheuser-Busch, Ford
Motor, Gatorade, R.J. Reynolds, Circuit City, Craftsman,
MasterCard, True Value, Tabasco, Food Lion, Tide, Kellogg's,
Kodak, Kraft, Lowe's, McDonald's, MCI, DuPont, Glaval and
Serengeti. Primedia President Mark Johnson told THE DAILY
that Coca-Cola will launch a $5-10M print/electronic campaign
around the celebration, which will include a 90-second NASCAR
promo trailer running in movie theaters across the U.S.
Official sponsors must purchase their own ad time on NASCAR's
telecasts, but Johnson added that NASCAR is in talks with its
TV partners to incorporate ad time in future packages.
Johnson: "We're trying to break the mold. NASCAR is not a
regional sport anymore." Johnson added that other partners
who will have a large national presence include A-B,
Pontiac, Kellogg's and McDonald's (THE DAILY).
LICENSE TO DRIVE: At retail, the 40-plus licensees will
produce apparel, trading cards, die cast collectibles and
novelty gifts, among others, all branded with the 50th
anniversary logo (THE DAILY). In AD AGE, Jeff Jensen reports
that JCPenney, KMart, Sears and NAPA are "negotiating" for
national distribution of NASCAR items (AD AGE, 12/1).
FROM THE PIT: AD AGE's Jensen adds that SI "plans a
special issue" devoted to the Anniversary that will hit
newsstands January 26. The 124-page issue has a rate-base of
200,000 and a color page costs $16,300 (AD AGE, 12/1).
NASCAR Online will conduct fan balloting that will select
NASCAR's greatest drivers and moments. The winners will be
announced at a May "Hollywood Salute to NASCAR" on ESPN.
Balloting will also take place through NASCAR publications.
The balloting has no title sponsor (THE DAILY).
TV: During the Anniversary, ESPN will air a five-part
documentary series on NASCAR's history. Each part focuses on
one decade, with the first installment set to air January 16
and the next four airing every Friday night up to the Daytona
500 in February. ESPN is scheduled to air three other
documentaries that will review NASCAR's greatest rivalries,
races and drivers, as well as a feature on the France family.
ESPN2's "RPM 2Night" will feature a daily "This Day in NASCAR
History" vignette, and on every race Sunday, "SportsCenter"
will feature a moment in NASCAR history. On Christmas and
New Year's, ESPN will air NASCAR marathons of 27 1/2 and 32
hours, respectively (THE DAILY).
IT'S EVERYWHERE: In terms of NASCAR's other TV partners,
ABC Sports' race broadcasts each will have a 50th Anniversary
theme. CBS will air the Pepsi 400 live from Daytona Int'l
Speedway on July 4 at 8:00pm ET, the first race to air on a
network in primetime. CBS will also air two weekend
"Speedweeks Special" programs and an August entertainment
special "Country Music Salute to NASCAR." TBS will continue
its "Road to the Championship" programming, and on May 31,
will air a one-hour special on the 50th anniversary.
Starting in January, CNN/SI will feature a NASCAR minute on
its Wednesday night broadcasts. TNN will feature NASCAR
country music specials in July and August and present the
first authorized biography of the France family. Speedvision
will air "50 Years -- A Celebration" on December 14 at 1:00pm
ET, exactly 50 years to the hour NASCAR was founded, along
with special editions of "Inside Winston Cup Racing" focusing
on the anniversary, and the Motorsports Hall of Fame
ceremonies (THE DAILY).
YOU WANT MORE? While in New York to accept the Winston
Cup Award, Jeff Gordon appeared as a guest on "Live with
Regis & Kathie Lee." Asked by Kathie Lee Gifford how much
DuPont pays for its logo to adorn the hood of the car, Gordon
said "about" $4-5M ("Regis & Kathie Lee," 12/4).
FORD TOUGH: Timed to coincide with the 50th Anniversary
of both the Ford F-Series Trucks and NASCAR, Ford announced a
multiyear agreement to become the Official Truck of NASCAR
starting in '98. Ford will have Official Truck status for
all 12 NASCAR divisions and will produce a limited number of
'98-model NASCAR special edition Ford F-150's (Ford).