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Volume 21 No. 2
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SMI signs on to use Turnkey’s Activator system

Speedway Motorsports Inc. has signed as a client of Turnkey Sports & Entertainment’s sponsorship management system called Activator.

The company is the first motorsports operation to use the system. It joins a list of users that includes leagues like the NBA and MLS and teams like the Chicago Bears and Seattle Seahawks.

Activator is a real-time, cloud-based management tool that allows sponsors to access up-to-date information from Nielsen, Arbitron and others. It also creates a secure, virtual workroom where sponsors and properties or teams can exchange information, review everything from logos to activation plans, and manage ticketing and hospitality.

Among Speedway Motorsports Inc.’s properties is Texas Motor Speedway.
“As deals have become more and more complicated, not just ‘Here’s your 100 tickets,’ this makes sense,” said Mike Burch, SMI’s vice president of business development. “There can be eight to 10 people involved in a deal from agencies to individual contractors, and this checked off a lot of boxes by offering a place everyone has access to.”

SMI owns speedways in Atlanta; Charlotte; Las Vegas; Bristol, Tenn.; and Fort Worth, Texas, among other properties. Burch said the company will begin making Activator access available to its corporate service team over the next two weeks. All of its sponsors — both national entities and local partners affiliated with individual speedways — will have access to it by January.

Turnkey President and CEO Len Perna said other motorsports companies are expected to begin using Activator in 2012, as well. He declined to name the companies because negotiations with one are ongoing.

“The NASCAR industry guys are on the road all the time,” Perna said. “How can they work on a deal when all their files are on a server or desktop in Charlotte? This exists in the cloud. You can work on a laptop, smartphone, any device with an Internet connection.”

SMI has more than 30 national sponsors. Burch said adding Activator won’t result in any layoffs in the company’s client services group.

“It will make the people we have more effective and efficient,” Burch said.