Indianapolis Motor Speedway officials yesterday signed a deal making Crown Royal the title sponsor of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Brickyard 400 beginning next year, and the pact is "financially bigger than any other current NASCAR title sponsorship agreement," according to Anthony Schoettle of the INDIANAPOLIS BUSINESS JOURNAL. Sources said that the deal is "worth about $15 million over five years." Sources added that Crown Royal "will pay $1.5 million annually for the deal and spend another $1.5 million annually to promote the race." The name of the Brickyard 400 next year will be changed to Crown Royal Presents "Your Hero Here" 400 at the Brickyard. The new moniker is "part of the whiskey maker's promotion honoring the U.S. military and public servants such as police officers and firefighters." IMS President & CEO Jeff Belskus is "working on a plan to reverse the attendance slide" for the race, and sources said that Crown Royal "will play a big part in that effort starting later this summer when it jumps in to help promote ticket renewals for 2012." Crown Royal next spring and summer is "expected to help market the race in Indiana, in as many as seven key regional markets, and with a national ad campaign" (IBJ.com, 7/28).
Marketing and Sponsorship
Golfer Greg Norman said he hopes “by the end of this week we hopefully would have locked down everything and are moving forward” toward a new title sponsor of the Shark Shootout. Norman, appearing on Golf Channel's "Morning Drive," said the business model for sponsorship packages "has changed" in recent years. Norman: "The PGA Tour has been fantastically helpful in this regard. NBC has been great, and Golf Channel. Everybody who is behind the scenes completely understands the dynamics of the economic situation that’s impacting the game of golf.” He added, “It’s been hard work, guys, I tell you. I sympathize and empathize with every tournament director out there who has to go through this. It's not easy because the game of golf is in a tough place in the United States. The United States is in a tough place from an economic … and from a confidence standpoint as a nation.” Norman noted there is "no confidence in the country from the CEO of major corporations who’ve got trillions in cash sitting on the side. They’re not going to invest until they get confidence to what’s coming out of the White House and what direction the country is really going from an economic standpoint” ("Morning Drive," Golf Channel, 7/27). In Florida, Greg Hardwig noted the Shark Shootout "has been without a title sponsor since Bank of America/Merrill Lynch decided it would not renew in January, after five years in that role." Franklin Templeton had been the event's "only other title sponsor." The tournament is scheduled to take place Dec. 9-11 in Naples, Fla. (NAPLESNEWS.com, 7/27).
Volkswagen Group Motorsport Dir Wolfgang Duerheimer said that the carmaker “could consider a move into Formula One in 2018.” Duerheimer: "I could imagine involvement in Formula One in 2018, when the company is at the forefront of the industry. We have enough brands that could do that." Volkswagen's stable of brands includes Audi, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Porsche, Seat and Skoda (REUTERS, 7/28).
DRIVEN: CAMPAIGN LIVE’s Matt Williams notes Spanish bank Santander “is introducing the new strapline ‘driven to do better,’ and will feature its brand ambassadors and Formula 1 drivers, Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton, more prominently in its advertising.” The bank also “has appointed Euro RSCG London to its agency roster, just seven months after retaining Engine” to its US$57M account following a review (CAMPAIGNLIVE.co.uk, 7/28).
ROUNDUP: Promotional merchandise company idegy has named Aquarius Sports & Entertainment as its first sports marketing agency of record. The Columbus-based company will also serve as the preferred promotional merchandise company for Aquarius (idegy)....Vancouver-based GLG Life Tech Corp. signed a two-year agreement with the China Olympic swimming team to serve as its exclusive tea drink sponsor (BIVINTERACTIVE.com, 7/26).
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