CART NEWS & NOTES
CART has jointed with MI-based Valassis Communications
and IL-based Marketing Events to create a FedEx
Championships Series-themed FSI to reach more than 40
million homes through national newspapers on July 26. The
FSI program is targeted toward female and family demos and
will offer consumer package good companies the ability to
align with CART. CART Dir of Marketing Jeff Gooding said
that first-time program "is part of our broader, integrated
marketing plans for 1998." Valassis will publish the
consumer inserts and secure distribution while Marketing
Events will bring advertisers into the program (CART).
JAPANESE IMPORT: CART will race its Budweiser 400 in
Montegi, Japan, the first time the series has held a race in
that country. In Indianapolis, Bill Koenig wrote that
although some "major Japanese" companies are involved in
CART -- including Honda, Toyota and Panasonic -- the racing
series "sees the potential for more corporate involvement."
Koenig: "The hope is having an annual race will get Japanese
race fans enthused about the CART series and Japanese
companies interested in sponsorships. The timing, however,
isn't the best. Japan's economy continues a six-year slump,
with no recovery on the horizon" (INDY STAR-NEWS, 3/24).
GAMES WITHOUT FRONTIERS: In Chicago, Herb Gould wrote
of CART's expansion where it is "trying to keep pace in a
world where NASCAR has been widening the gap as the most
popular arm of auto racing." CART has added a street race
in Houston for '98 and is "exploring" the possibility of
adding a race in Germany to go with its international forays
in Japan and Brazil. CART is also targeting Chicago for a
Labor Day '99 race (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 3/26).
COVERAGE: ESPN Int'l will air the '98 CART FedEx
Championship Series full season schedule on its
international networks. ESPN Int'l also has agreements to
syndicate the series, which began last weekend, to
broadcasters worldwide (ESPN International).