DC Solar expanding to more SMI, ISC tracks
DC Solar has struck new agreements with International Speedway Corp. and Speedway Motorsports Inc. to dramatically expand the number of solar products it will provide to tracks throughout NASCAR.
The California-based company, which has aligned with multiple stakeholders in the sport in recent years, is moving from providing solar panels for two SMI tracks last year to all eight this year, and from three ISC tracks to eight. DC Solar will announce the deals this week, though it already has quietly started working with some of the new tracks that have already held races this season.
Jeff Carpoff, president and CEO of DC Solar, declined to disclose precise deal terms but confirmed they are more partnerships than straight sponsorships since DC Solar is providing its equipment. DC Solar also gets other assets. For example, in its deal with SMI, the company has the opportunity to receive branding, hospitality and ticket assets depending on the track.
“Obviously we have equipment that works perfectly with the tracks, supplying lighting, electric vehicle charging and personal device charging,” Carpoff said. “It’s a perfect match to get our equipment out there and build the brand.”
DC Solar now has more than 1,500 units deployed at NASCAR tracks, and Carpoff said the solar-power generators greatly reduce their fossil fuel costs. Kevin Camper, senior vice president of sales and marketing at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, helped put DC Solar’s expanded pact with SMI together, and said LVMS sees a cost savings from deploying the solar panels, but he did not have specific amounts.
Carpoff said the company has had the best success striking business-to-business deals in NASCAR that he’s seen in any industry. He said DC Solar has seen a 5:1 return on investment in NASCAR, about double what he expected when the company entered the sport a few years ago. That includes a new B2B deal with ISM Vision where the sides are joining forces to pitch municipalities on electric-vehicle charging stations that will feature ISM’s screens attached. Carpoff said the revenue from that deal could be “astronomical” for DC Solar.
DC Solar, which works with Charlotte-based agency Spire Sports & Entertainment, also is a major partner of the ISM Raceway renovation project near Phoenix. It is providing solar lighting panels for the renovation, solar-generated personal device charging stations and 10 solar-powered electric vehicle charging stations. The company also sponsors Chip Ganassi Racing and stepped up this year from sponsoring cars in the NASCAR Xfinity Series to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.
LVMS’s Camper said that SMI is working hard to integrate DC Solar’s equipment and brand at various events beyond racing. For example, the company will have a presence at this month’s Shell Eco-marathon at Sonoma Raceway, including sponsoring a dinner for participants of the competition in which students build and race energy-efficient vehicles.
“The renewable piece is definitely something where we’re all looking for opportunities to be greener,” Camper said. “It’s not just in the races — it’s all year long. We have all kinds of events going on throughout the year, and now we have their products integrated in our facilities where we can use them.”
Carpoff said the goal is to eventually have DC Solar’s equipment at all tracks.
“The whole deal here is we’re replacing fossil fuel generators and fossil fuel light towers with renewables,” Carpoff said. “Just doing that alone has a big cost savings, and it’s not just for race weekends; it’s all year long we’re out there supporting their events.”