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Volume 21 No. 1
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New deals for Old World brands

Old World Industries, the privately held company behind Peak Antifreeze and Peak Motor Oil, is stepping up its investment in motorsports sponsorships.

The Illinois-based company recently finalized multiyear agreements with Michael Waltrip Racing, the NHRA and four NHRA Sportsman class dragsters. Financial terms of the deals were not available.

Old World brand Peak Motor Oil will expand its sponsorship of NHRA driver TJ Zizzo.
Photo by: NHRA
The deals are part of a push by Old World to increase its market share by marketing to do-it-yourself consumers who follow NASCAR and the NHRA. The company estimates its Peak Antifreeze has a 50 percent share of the antifreeze market and its Peak Motor Oil has a 6 percent share of the lubricant market.

“Growing the Peak brand is the No. 1 priority for us,” said Bryan Emrich, vice president of marketing for Old World Industries. “We want to build the brand with the [do-it-yourself] consumer.”

Michael Waltrip Racing last Friday announced Peak Motor Oil would be an associate sponsor throughout the 2013 season on all three of the team’s NASCAR Sprint Cup cars and a primary sponsor for three races on Clint Bowyer’s No. 15 car. It also will have the ability to incorporate team owner Michael Waltrip into marketing materials.

Emrich said that Old World explored opportunities with other NASCAR teams but signed with MWR because it had a similar culture and shared a desire to increase Peak’s brand awareness at the same time Peak helped expand the race team.

The NHRA deal came together after the drag racing organization’s official antifreeze, Prestone, decided not to extend its sponsorship beyond this year. Old World signed a deal that makes its Peak Antifreeze brand the NHRA’s official antifreeze, its BlueDef diesel exhaust fluid brand the official diesel exhaust fluid, and its Herculiner brand the official truck bed liner.

Old World Industries will receive on-site signage, on-site activation rights, advertising inventory during races on ESPN2, and other assets.

“The most efficient place to reach [do-it-yourself consumers] is the NHRA,” Emrich said. “It has the highest percentage of [do-it-yourself] consumers. The depth of the NHRA fan who is a car person is greater there than anywhere else we could find.”

Gary Darcy, NHRA senior vice president of sales and marketing, said: “You never know [when you lose a sponsor like Prestone] if you’ll find another one, but they saw the opportunity and were aggressive in pursuing it. It’s worked out really well.”

The NHRA already has Lucas Oil as its official oil sponsor through 2015, so Old World didn’t have the option of signing an official NHRA sponsorship for Peak Motor Oil, but Emrich said the company will activate around its oil brand. The centerpiece of that activation is the Peak Motor Oil performance team.

The brand has signed deals to sponsor four Sportsman class drivers: Jay Payne, Duane Shields, Sherman Adcock and Dan Fletcher. It also plans to expand its sponsorship of NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series Top Fuel driver TJ Zizzo, becoming the primary sponsor for 12 races in 2013, up from eight races this year.

“Everyone knows we’re in the antifreeze category, but we’re trying to drive motor oil, too,” Emrich said. “If that [category] ever opens up for any reason, we’re interested in having that conversation. That’s up to the NHRA and Lucas Oil.”

The Old World Industries sponsorship deal is the first new sponsorship the NHRA has announced for 2013. It extended its title sponsorship with Coca-Cola and renewed an agreement with Harley-Davidson. The organization is working on renewals with the U.S. Army, a key sponsor, and Tire Kingdom, a race title sponsor.