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Volume 21 No. 2
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Texas racetrack starts B2B club

Texas Motor Speedway is launching a membership club focused on connecting Dallas/Fort Worth-area companies and fostering business-to-business deals in the track’s own backyard.

The DFW Business Acceleration Club will cost an annual fee of $28,500 to join. The track will offer 25 slots, which would amount to $712,500 in revenue if it sells out. TMS, owned by Speedway Motorsports Inc., has sold four of the memberships, and is officially announcing the program this week.

Members will receive assets during the track’s two NASCAR weekends and annual Verizon IndyCar Series race weekend. For each event, members will receive 15 suite tickets with food and beverage, five parking passes, 15 garage passes and 15 pit passes. They will receive a full-color ad in the race program, four tickets to post-race “champagne toast” parties, and appearances on TMS’s “Big Hoss TV” video board ranging from a 30-second ad to the company’s name being shown on the leader board. A sponsorship summit will connect the companies that join the club, and four passes to an annual driving school will further tie in motorsports.

The club was the idea of Jason Wonderly, TMS’s new vice president of sales. Wonderly came to the track from Team Penske, the 51-year-old racing outfit that is widely hailed as a leader in helping its corporate partners forge B2B deals in motorsports.

Wonderly said that when he came into the role in July, he realized that most of the track’s sponsor inventory was priced higher than what local brands could afford with their marketing budgets.

“Based on my experience in the sport and what I learned at Penske, I felt like coming in here … we’ve missed a little bit of a gap in terms of trying to build relationships with people that are based in our own backyard,” Wonderly said. “The reason for that I think is we didn’t have the right offering.”

While some in motorsports have helped broker B2B deals for years, the strategy has become increasingly important in NASCAR as stakeholders look for ways to make up for downticks in corporate spending, ratings and attendance.

“I’m trying to take what I’ve learned [at Team Penske] and say, ‘Let’s figure out how to condense the sales cycle, get partners together that are like-minded, and put them in an environment that’s going to foster these mutually beneficial transactions that are going to drive ROI,’” Wonderly added.