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Volume 22 No. 12

Marketing and Sponsorship

The hospital will use its track entrance to highlight its new AdventHealth name.
Photo: Daytona International Speedway

As part of a rebranding next year, major Daytona International Speedway sponsor Florida Hospital is buying naming rights to the track’s Speedweeks period and redesigning its “injector” entrance.

The move, to be announced this week, will include the company soon to be known as AdventHealth buying the presented-by asset to the 2019 season-opening Daytona Speedweeks, which includes the Daytona 500. The deal also includes a multimillion-dollar effort to transform Florida Hospital’s entrance to fit the new AdventHealth brand, and it could be a precursor for additional spending in NASCAR by the Adventist Health System parent company.

Florida Hospital is changing its name to the AdventHealth moniker at the turn of the calendar year, and the rebranding effort at Daytona will be completed by the 61st running of the 500 on Feb. 17.

“We wanted to make sure folks knew we were changing as an organization — and with our current existing partnership already in place, we decided we would enhance that to make it more prominent as we continue to grow,” said David Ottati, president and CEO of Adventist Health System’s Central Florida Division-North Region.

The company-wide rebrand involves nearly 50 hospitals across nine states. Adventist works with Aquarius Sports & Entertainment on its motorsports marketing.

Adventist Health System was one of five companies to buy one of the track’s branded injector entrances designed as part of Daytona’s $400 million renovation completed in early 2016. Daytona parent company International Speedway Corp. sold the branded entrances for $2 million to $2.5 million annually over 10- to 15-year terms. Ottati said the company will spend $1 million to $2 million to rebrand its presence at the track, which includes its 20,000-square-foot entrance.

The presented-by asset that AdventHealth is buying from the track is for multiple years. The price was not disclosed.

As its rebrand begins rolling out, AdventHealth is open to expanding its presence not only with ISC but also with rival track operator Speedway Motorsports Inc. The company already has a team sponsorship with Chip Ganassi Racing.

“The really exciting opportunity for us with this national rebrand is in almost every one of our significant AdventHealth markets, there is a racetrack — either ISC or SMI,” said Anna Donaldson, AdventHealth’s director of sports marketing. “There’s definitely a possibility of how we grow our relationships within motorsports, whether with ISC, SMI or Chip Ganassi Racing; we’re definitely exploring those opportunities.”

The convenience store chain is building a location at Texas Motor Speedway.
Photo: Texas Motor Speedway

7-Eleven has signed a five-year deal with Texas Motor Speedway that will see the iconic convenience store chain build its first permanent location at a sports venue.

The move, which will be announced this week, will make the Texas-based company the official convenience store of TMS as part of a wider pact that also includes on-site marketing and signage. The store will debut by the track’s upcoming NASCAR weekend in November and will be open 24/7 for eight days around the time of the races. TMS opens its 8,500 camping sites a week before its race weekends.

Financial terms were not disclosed, but TMS President Eddie Gossage said the pact is structured so that 7-Eleven will pay rent and share some of its proceeds from the location. The idea is to give campers and other people at the track an easy way to get food and supplies for the weekend without making them leave the grounds.

“There was a time when we had a full-service grocery store and the fans really liked it, so we were looking for someone to play that role [again],” Gossage said.

TMS had a similar deal with locally based grocer Brookshire Brothers that expired several years ago.

7-Eleven sees special venues as a way to take its brand to customers and find a new, potentially significant, revenue stream, according to Charles Bantos, 7-Eleven’s director of corporate development. Bantos foresees 7-Eleven adding stores at other sports venues in the coming years, and also is looking at places like music festivals, airports and universities.

The roughly 5,000-square-foot 7-Eleven store at TMS will be outside of the track’s infield North Tunnel near Turn 3 and will be open to anyone. The building formerly housed Legends race cars.

The store is under construction and plans a soft opening for Saturday, Oct. 27, which is the day TMS opens its campgrounds before the race the following weekend. 7-Eleven is working with Trilogy Marketing, among other firms, on the venture.

Bantos said the store will have a product mix aimed toward campers, such as propane and barbecue items, and will feature 7-Eleven classics such as Slurpees, Big Gulp sodas and 7-Select in-house brands. 7-Eleven plans to staff the store with 7-Eleven employees and volunteers.

The store will resemble an actual 7-Eleven location. Signage at other parts of the track will alert people about it, and TMS’s tram service will add a stop at the store. Gossage said he expects prices to closely resemble what customers see at 7-Eleven’s regular retail locations.

Other NASCAR tracks have built pop-up grocery stores over the years. For example, Albertsons-owned grocery chain Vons had a 5,000-square-foot store at this year’s race at Auto Club Speedway in California.

The 7-Eleven store will be open for TMS’s three major race weekends each year, which include two Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series events and one with the IndyCar Series. It also will be open for some other major, non-racing events that the track holds on site.

The retired pitcher uses Inside Edge’s Remarkable statistical product.
Photo: Inside Edge

Sports data provider Inside Edge has added an ace to its staff to help expand its product line and customer base.


Former Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher and current TV broadcaster Orel Hershiser has taken a stake in the Minneapolis-based company, known for its statistical product called Remarkable. He’ll advise the firm as a longtime customer and help the marketing pitch to potential customers.


Inside Edge counts among its clients 21 Major League Baseball clubs, media including ESPN, MLB Network and regional sports networks, plus fantasy sports firms.


Hershiser has used Remarkable’s data as a player, a coach and now during his Dodgers broadcasts. “Remarkable turns data into words and gives it great context, making [the service] important to the front office, manager or coaches, players, broadcasters, producers and directors, or the audience that’s watching or listening,” he said.


For broadcasters, Remarkable pops up data-based phrases and graphics that can quickly be incorporated into game coverage. Or a team may use the technology for its social media efforts, as the notes produced can be tweeted directly from the system.


Hershiser is the data provider’s first outside investor in its 26-year history. The size of his investment was not disclosed. Inside Edge’s Kenny Kendrena, vice president of product and sales, said the proceeds will be used to expand Remarkable into other sports and verticals. A college football version may be released as soon as this month, Minor League Baseball is on the way, then college basketball.


Kendrena said the biggest opportunity may be in gambling, adding that  betting applications for Remarkable may be live before the end of the NFL season.


He added that Inside Edge’s products will likely remain business-to-business, targeted to media and sports organizations. However, a new Sociable app in beta may have consumer appeal. The app allows fans to quickly share infographics on social media using Remarkable data and player photos. Sociable is expected to make its debut soon using NFL data.


Kendrena said the privately held Inside Edge has been profitable in all but two of its prior 25 years, with record revenue last year approaching $2 million, so it’s not looking for more outside investment, instead preferring strategic partnerships.


Robert Gray is a writer based in California.