Group Created with Sketch.
Volume 20 No. 45
  • Created with Sketch.
  • Created with Sketch.
  • Created with Sketch.

DC Solar plugs into renovation project at Phoenix International

Phoenix International Raceway last week announced that California-based clean-energy company DC Solar is taking a leading role in the $178 million renovation of the track.

DC Solar, which specializes in mobile solar projects and has been a NASCAR team sponsor for a couple of years, will become the powered-by sponsor of the construction project and title sponsor of the track’s new midway fan activation zone. The construction project, which is scheduled to be finished in November 2018, will be called the “Phoenix Raceway Project powered by DC Solar.”

DC Solar also becomes title sponsor of PIR’s Xfinity Series race in March.

Financial terms were not disclosed by PIR, which is owned by International Speedway Corp. PIR President Bryan Sperber would only call the investment “very significant.”

DC Solar, which works with Spire Sports & Entertainment for its NASCAR marketing, was interested in the partnership because the company will be able to showcase its products as part of the renovation and meet other companies involved in the project in a bid to forge business-to-business deals. The renovations (see SportsBusiness Journal, Jan. 30-Feb. 5) will include a new 45,000-seat grandstand and a new sports bar and live music venue anchoring a revamped midway, among other features.

The assets for DC Solar, which is entering its third year as team sponsor of Chip Ganassi Racing, include the naming rights, signage and hospitality. There is some value in kind in the deal, as DC Solar will provide solar lighting panels for the renovation, as well as solar-generated personal-device charging stations and 10 solar-powered electric-vehicle charging stations.

PIR already had been using some of DC Solar’s temporary-lighting products for its night races instead of diesel-powered lights, as have a number of other tracks in NASCAR. Around the grounds, DC Solar also will have close to 100 of those solar-powered light towers.

“For us, it wasn’t the branding piece,” said DC Solar CEO Jeff Carpoff. “It was, ‘How do we get our products incorporated into the actual on-site activity for the fans?’”