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Volume 21 No. 2
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Daytona to see slight increase in sponsors’ midway activation

For a second consecutive year, sponsors’ displays will fill the midway at Daytona International Speedway.

The track has 45 companies activating in the midway this year. That is a slight increase from the 40 companies that activated last year and gave the track the highest number of corporate displays for the Daytona 500 in more than three years.

The track has several new companies and brands building their displays, including Aaron’s, Jimmy Buffett Margaritaville and A&E, which is promoting its show “Duck Dynasty.” Jack Daniel’s is a brand that’s returning to the Daytona 500 after several years of skipping the event.

“We’ve had a nice uptick on the display side,” Daytona President Joie Chitwood III said. “We’ll maximize that [midway] display space and fill every inch we can.”

The speedway is benefiting from an uptick in activation among NASCAR’s official partners. Its three manufacturers — Ford, GM and Toyota — all build enormous displays to show off their cars, but they’re putting special emphasis on those activities this year to

Chevrolet is ramping up its activation with the unveiling of a new production car.
coincide with the debut of the new Gen 6 car.

Ford has a 20,000-square-foot display, Toyota is showing off its Toyota Tundra, and GM took advantage of the media attention around the new cars to unveil its Chevrolet SS production car. The unveiling, which happened Saturday, marked the first time Chevrolet had unveiled a new car brand at a NASCAR track. It typically unveils its production vehicles at auto shows.

“The fact that they’re using this stage to unveil their new production car speaks volumes to the power of an event like the Daytona 500,” said Norris Scott, NASCAR’s vice president of partnership marketing.

Other NASCAR sponsors set up in the midway include 3M, which has an 18,000-square-foot display, and New Holland, NASCAR’s new official agricultural equipment partner. Sprint, which runs one of the largest interactive displays at NASCAR races, renamed its event The Sprint Unlimited to support its efforts to highlight the company’s unlimited data packages.

In addition to activating at track, NASCAR sponsors are launching a host of new TV commercials this week. Sunoco will debut a new “If I Had a Nickel” ad, Coca-Cola will release a spot featuring its Coca-Cola Racing Family of drivers, and Goodyear will show new creative that features NASCAR footage.

Ford is going a step further by buying an entire 30-minute window on Fox. At 11:30 a.m. Saturday, the network will air a show called “The Fusion Evolution” that will highlight the development of the company’s Ford Fusion Sprint Cup Series car.

Coca-Cola, Mars and Coors Light plan to have retail activation in the market. Coke and Mars will have displays at Kroger grocery stores in the Daytona market, and Coors Light will have the NASCAR logo on its packaging in markets nationwide.