International Speedway Corp. has found a new sponsor for its Vision video board property: Ingenuity Sun Media, a company that specializes in digital advertising.
The multiyear deal with the New Jersey-based company will be announced this week, when NASCAR’s 2017 season gets underway with the non-points Advance Auto Parts Clash race at Daytona.
The deal creates ISM Vision Powered by BoldVu and includes naming rights to all video boards across ISC’s 12 speedways and one drag strip. The asset was previously sponsored by Sprint, which is being replaced as Cup Series title sponsor this year by Monster Energy.
ISC is not releasing financial terms for the deal, but sources said last year that the track operator was asking $1.5 million annually. Jeff Hutchins, chief development officer at Ingenuity, noted that the deal contains a revenue-sharing advertising component as well as screens that will be provided to ISC.
Ingenuity builds ad networks on digital screens at places like malls and universities. ISC was drawn to the company because it will not only serve as a sponsor but also will be able to offer its services.
|ISM will replace Sprint as the presenting sponsor of ISC video boards.
Ingenuity is going to integrate the same content seen on video boards onto each track’s app as well as the app of Motor Racing Network, the radio network that is owned by ISC. Content includes way-finding technologies, real-time traffic, weather alerts, event schedules, trivia and games.
“We could have taken one brand out and put one brand in, but the more we thought about it, we thought, ‘Is there a more innovative solution? Is there a more fan-friendly solution?’” said Daryl Wolfe, executive vice president and CMO of ISC. “The conversation candidly just started gaining traction and we said, ‘You know what? This may be a better avenue to go down as a company based on what they’re bringing to the table,’ which is a much more holistic solution.”
Each of ISC’s 12 tracks have Vision boards on display on race day, ranging from 9-foot-by-16-foot screens at Auto Club Speedway up to 40-feet-by-80-feet screens at Daytona and Talladega. The boards have become an important part of the race experience, as they not only offer race-related content but also show live action for fans who can’t see part of the action from their seat. ISC’s internal data has shown that 70 percent of fans consider video board content to be very or extremely important.
Sprint initially used the sponsorship just as a way to reiterate to fans their support of NASCAR, but the telecommunications company eventually started weaving in its messaging onto the screens and finding ways to interact directly with fans.
As part of the deal, Manufacturing Resources International, a partner of Ingenuity’s, will provide nearly 200 digital displays and dozens of 86-inch BoldVu screens. The screens will be initially temporary before being made permanent by the end of this year. Ingenuity will also provide a production team to help produce the content, to go along with the in-house production team ISC already has.
On top of the rights fee Ingenuity will pay to ISC, there will be additional revenue-sharing opportunities based on how much advertising is sold to brands as part of the new platform, according to Ingenuity CEO Nelson Martinez. Ad sales efforts will be shared. Ingenuity will also provide consumer analytic insights around the platform to ISC and participating advertisers.
Ingenuity’s move into NASCAR is the company’s first sports play, but Martinez expects it to become one of the more important verticals of business. He said Ingenuity expects to generate $30 million in revenue this year, which would be up substantially from 2016. The company was founded in 2012.