Speedway Digest Staff
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Number of FORTUNE 500 Companies Invested In NASCAR Increases From 1-in-5 To Nearly 1-in-4
Nearly one-in-four (117) FORTUNE 500 companies use NASCAR as part of their marketing mix, according to an analysis of sponsors currently in the sport when compared to the magazine’s annual list released this month. For the second consecutive year, the number of FORTUNE500 companies involved in NASCAR increased; and is an eight percent improvement over 2008. The analysis encompassed companies currently involved as a sponsor of NASCAR’s sanctioning body, teams, tracks and/or as media partners.
“There’s a reason the number of FORTUNE 500 companies invested in NASCAR remains higher than any other sport,” said Steve Phelps, NASCAR’s chief marketing officer. “Our fans are among the most brand loyal in all of sports. Some of the world’s biggest, most recognizable and profitable brands utilize NASCAR as a critical and powerful part of their marketing mix because it works for their business.”
Findings from a study commissioned by NASCAR and conducted by Toluna prior to the start of the 2013 season show that approximately one out of four NASCAR fans strongly agree that they support NASCAR sponsors more than sponsors of other sports.
“The current sponsorship landscape is as competitive as it has ever been,” said Michael Waltrip, founder and co-owner of Michael Waltrip Racing. “Our partners continue to choose to use our team to drive their brands because we have had success demonstrating value in their investment, proven by our recent partnership renewals with NAPA Auto Parts and other major corporations.”
“Regardless of a company’s entry point into the sport, the demand for a quantifiable return on investment expands across all levels of sponsorship,” said Joie Chitwood III, president of Daytona International Speedway. “We take pride in delivering a best-in-class experience and valuable branding opportunities to a number of powerful companies on an annual basis.”
To be eligible for the FORTUNE 500, a company must be based in the U.S. and publicly traded. Though many companies on the FORTUNE 500 utilize NASCAR as part of their business-building strategy to develop their customer base, strengthen market share, and increase value for their shareholders, only industry partners, media partners, and licensees involved in the sport were counted in the analysis. Companies invested in the sport solely as advertisers were not counted.
Although being a FORTUNE 500 company is the gold standard of success for publicly-traded companies in the United States, there are several global corporations currently involved in NASCAR that were not included in the analysis because they do not meet FORTUNE’s criteria. A number of those blue-chip brands not qualifying, but are involved significantly in the sport, include MillerCoors, Mars, Toyota and McLaren.
Turner Scott Motorsports (TSM), in conjunction with Rheem Manufacturing Company, announced today that their Ruud (pronounced rüde) brand will sponsor the No. 31 Chevrolet Silverado driven by James Buescher for three races during the 2013 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) season. The first race to debut the special Ruud paint scheme on the No. 31 will be at Texas Motor Speedway on June 7. Ruud, a member of the Rheem Manufacturing Company's family of quality brands, is a leading heating, cooling and water heating solutions provider in Texas and major markets throughout in the U.S. and Canada.
Ruud is one of the few brands with product offerings covering residential and commercial heating, cooling, conventional storage-style water heaters, tankless water heaters, solar water heating systems, replacement parts and accessories for all categories - making Ruud a one-stop solutions provider.
"The Ruud brand has been providing superior reliability to homes and businesses for over one hundred years. The Ruud reputation for engineering excellence, durability, strength and top performance has been consistently recognized by leading consumer publications as a brand that can be trusted to deliver efficient, reliable performance over the long haul. So, associating this durable brand and its proud history of top performance with the 2012 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series® champion, James Buescher driving the Turner Scott Motorsports No. 31 truck is a great fit and a proud moment for our company and the Ruud brand, said JR Jones, President and CEO.
Buescher is the reigning NCWTS Champion and has earned one pole position and two top 10's with an average finish of 10.6 in the first five races of the 2013 NCWTS season. Buescher currently sits tied for fourth in the NCWTS Driver Point Standings heading into the May 31st event at Dover International Raceway.
"I'm excited to represent the Ruud brand this season," said James Buescher. "Ruud is a very trusted brand within their industry and to be able to carry their colors makes be proud. I am especially looking forward to the Texas race, as it's a home race for me and with a large contingent of Ruud distributors and contractors from Texas in attendance, I know I will have big support from them."
The No. 31 Ruud Chevrolet Silverado can be seen at the following events: The Winstar World Casino 400k at Texas Motor Speedway on June 7, the Kroger 250 at Martinsville Speedway on October 26 and the Lucas Oil 150 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 8, all live on SPEED.
TNT to Provide “All-Access” Pass to 2013 NASCAR Summer Series
The green flag is set to wave on TNT’s 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series action with the network offering all-access coverage throughout the six-week NASCAR Summer Series beginning Sunday, June 9, at Pocono Raceway at 1 p.m. ET. TNT’s all-access pass will include behind-the-scenes content featuring a select driver and their team (one per week) throughout the NASCAR Summer Series along with special “off the track” segments and more.
TNT will follow a driver and their team over the course of the entire week as they travel and prepare for the upcoming race, with coverage beginning when the driver leaves the previous track and continuing throughout the network’s next NASCAR Summer Series telecast. Featured drivers will include Denny Hamlin (Pocono), Brad Keselowski (Michigan), Juan Pablo Montoya (Sonoma) and Kurt Busch (Kentucky), among others. The all-access pieces will air weekly during the pre-race Countdown to Green Presented by Kelley Blue Book show.
Additionally, TNT will televise a special feature each week highlighting a select driver away from the track. During the Pocono telecast, TNT will focus the spotlight on Dale Earnhardt, Jr. TNT’s Ralph Sheheen and Earnhardt will talk racing and life outside of NASCAR while visiting with Earnhardt at his “Whisky River” property including his “Car Graveyard.”
Inside Trax will also return for another season and will showcase audio and video from select crew chiefs and teams during each race telecast.
“We’re bringing fans an all-access pass to TNT’s NASCAR Summer Series coverage this year,” said Craig Barry, senior vice president and executive creative director, Turner Sports. “These deeper layers of access will provide fans with a look under the hood to some of the great personalities and teams in the sport and the level of teamwork and commitment it takes to be successful.”
TNT, in its 31st consecutive year of exclusive NASCAR Summer Series coverage, will feature six consecutive races – Pocono (June 9), Michigan (June 16), Sonoma (June 23), Kentucky (June 29), Daytona (July 6) and New Hampshire (July 14). Each of the six races feature a diverse blend of tracks – ovals with three turns (Pocono); the first road race of the year (Sonoma); a long track (Michigan) and a short track (New Hampshire) – which have led to unpredictable outcomes. Over the last 14 races airing on TNT, dating back to 2010, there have been 14 different winners crossing the finish line.
The network will return its marquee commentator crew with analysts Kyle Petty, Wally Dallenbach and Larry McReynolds joining play-by-play announcer Adam Alexander for each race. Alexander will also host the network’s 60-minute Countdown to Green presented by Kelley Blue Book pre-race show with Petty, Dallenbach and McReynolds. In addition, veteran reporters Sheheen, Marty Snider, Matt Yocum and Chris Neville will patrol pit road to bring viewers comprehensive coverage and access prior to and during each race.
Fans engaging via social platforms during TNT’s NASCAR coverage are encouraged to use @NASCAR_TNT.
TNT’s 2013 NASCAR Summer Series Schedule:
(All Times Eastern)
Sunday, June 9
Noon – 1 p.m. ET Countdown to Green presented by Kelley Blue Book
1 – 4:30 p.m. Party in the Poconos 400 presented by Walmart
Sunday, June 16
Noon – 1 p.m. Countdown to Green presented by Kelley Blue Book
1 – 4:30 p.m. Quicken Loans 400 (Michigan International Speedway)
Sunday, June 23
2 – 3 p.m. Countdown to Green presented by Kelley Blue Book
3 – 6:30 p.m. Toyota/SaveMart 350 (Sonoma Raceway – Sonoma, CA)
Saturday, June 29
6:30 – 7:30 p.m. Countdown to Green presented by Kelley Blue Book
7:30 – 11 p.m. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Racing from Kentucky presented by KFC (Kentucky Speedway)
Saturday, July 6
6:30 – 7:30 p.m. Countdown to Green presented by Kelley Blue Book
7:30 – 11 p.m. Coke Zero 400 at Daytona powered by Coca-Cola (Daytona International Speedway)
Sunday, July 14
Noon – 1 p.m. Countdown to Green presented by Kelley Blue Book
1 – 4:30 p.m. NASCAR Sprint Cup Racing from New Hampshire
(New Hampshire Motor Speedway)
Turner Sports PR
Jimmie Johnson Nothing Else Matters
“So close no matter how far. Couldn’t be much more from the heart. Forever trust in who we are and nothing else matters.” Metallica’s lyrics seem fitting this weekend for Jimmie Johnson as he heads to Dover (Del.) International Speedway for Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race.
There are a lot of good things going on for the five-time champion at the track, including a special paint scheme touting the new animated movie “Monsters University,” a scheme he says his daughter Evie is looking forward to. He’s not too bad getting around the concrete mile oval, either. He is currently the winningest active driver at the track and has a shot at becoming the all-time winningest driver with a victory Sunday. But fun paint schemes and historic records pale in comparison to what Johnson will do Thursday when he is scheduled to visit tornado-ravaged Oklahoma to distribute relief supplies at the Lowe’s store in Moore.
Suddenly those lyrics take on a whole meaning because, when it comes to helping those in need, truly “nothing else matters.”
- · As part of the $1 million pledge, Lowe’s donated $500,000 to the American Red Cross and matched the earnings of Johnson from Sunday’s NASCAR race at Charlotte Motor Speedway with an additional donation to the Red Cross. Lowe’s will use the remainder of its $1 million commitment to fund local projects in areas of greatest need as identified by its national nonprofit partners.
- · Johnson and his wife, Chandra, who is from Muskogee, Okla., have pledged Johnson's winnings from Sunday's race to go to disaster relief as well. That amount totaled nearly $148,000
Hill and FAS Lane Racing Eye Continued Improvement
Timmy Hill and his FAS Lane Racing team head to Dover International Speedway this weekend coming off a solid showing in the longest race of the year - the Coca-Cola 600. While the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season has been a learning process for the 20-year old rookie driver, he welcomes the challenge to improve each and every time he climbs behind the wheel of the team's No. 32 OXYwater Ford.
"With it being time to head to Dover, a smile gets put on my face," stated Timmy. "Dover is a home track for me. I get to spend a lot of time at home with my friends and family along with them coming to watch me race as well. I remember my first time racing at Dover I was a little nervous. Dover is a Monster of a race track which is why it has that name. The speeds are extremely high for a one mile race track and the way the track falls off into the corner makes it for one heck of a ride. I'm really looking forward to taking that ride to the next level by taking to it with our No. 32 OXYwater Ford. I've learned a lot in my previous starts at Dover and have been doing a ton of practice with online simulators. I feel very prepared for this weekend's race and what it may bring as I look to continue to improve each and every week."
Hill, the 2011 NASCAR Nationwide Series Rookie of the Year, has four previous NASCAR starts at the "Monster Mile" in NASCAR Nationwide Series competition.
"Timmy and this entire team did a great job hanging in there for a long race last week and he had a solid finish to show for it," said FAS Lane Racing owner Frank Stoddard. "Now we need to continue with improvements like this. Dover is a tough track but Timmy has shown he is dedicated to getting better each and every week."
Bowyer to Visit Sacramento Save Mart to Kick-Off Countdown to Toyota/Save Mart 350
Race fans are invited to join Sonoma Raceway and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series star Clint Bowyer in Sacramento on Monday, June 3, to kick off the countdown to the Toyota/Save Mart 350 (June 21-23).
Bowyer will trade his stock car for a high-speed shopping experience during a media and fan event at a Save Mart Supermarkets store in Sacramento (5600 Folsom Blvd.). The Michael Waltrip Racing driver will square off against Dennis Kurrell, a local fan who has attended all 25 Cup races in Sonoma, in a “Shop ‘Til You Drop”-style race through the store to secure the basic supplies for a fun-filled race weekend at the Toyota/Save Mart 350 in Sonoma.
Bowyer will also enjoy a lap around the parking lot in Save Mart’s popular “Big Red” motorized shopping cart and participate in a media/fan Q&A session. Fans are invited to enjoy the Q&A session inside the store beginning at approximately 12:45 p.m.
The Sonoma Raceway promotions team will also be on hand, and it’s a great chance to purchase tickets for the 25th Toyota/Save Mart 350, including the Save Mart Supermarkets 2-Pack for $99 or the all-new NASCAR Express train package.
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series returns to the Sonoma Valley for the 25th consecutive year, June 21-23. This marks one of only two road-course races on the series’ schedule and it’s become one of the most hotly-contested events on the circuit. This year’s event will also mark the road-course debut of NASCAR’s new Gen-6 stock car.
Sonoma Raceway PR
Camping World and Good Sam Join Darrell Wallace, Jr. for 11 Races
WELCOME TO THE TEAM: This weekend beginning at Dover (Del.) International Speedway, Darrell Wallace, Jr. will welcome Camping World and Good Sam to his No. 54 Toyota Tundra as the primary sponsor for 11 races this season in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. The 2013 Sunoco Rookie of the Year Contender will be making his sixth-career start in the Series and his fifth-career start at the one-mile oval track. He has three K&N Series starts (2010-2012), with one win in 2011, and one NASCAR Nationwide Series start (2012). His last three starts at the ‘Monster Mile’ have been from the pole position.
“Dover is my favorite track to go to and I’m looking forward to getting there with Camping World and Good Sam on board the No. 54 Toyota Tundra this weekend,” said Wallace. “It’s very exciting to know we have a sponsor on board to help us through the rest of the races this year and support our program. Now we have to continue to make our program better from behind the scenes and go out there ready to win.”
"We are very excited to be the primary sponsor of Darrell's team for the upcoming races," said Marcus Lemonis, Chairman and CEO of Camping World and Good Sam. "He is a great young driver and we look for continued success from him during the 2013 racing season."
Both founded in 1966, Camping World and Good Sam are the world’s largest retailer of recreational vehicles and the world’s largest RV owner’s organization. Camping World offers every outdoor enthusiasts with a one-stop-shop for all needs to support the RV lifestyle from tailgating at a local sporting event to camping in the great outdoors. To add to the camping experience, Good Sam members receive a variety of services including Roadside Assistance, Financing, Insurance, Discounts at parks, campgrounds and events, as well as 30 percent off at Camping World SuperCenters nationwide and online.
Taking the next step to reach sport and outdoor enthusiasts, Camping World joined NASCAR as the Truck Series title sponsor in 2009 and also became the Official RV and Outdoor Retailer of NASCAR. Race fans can also find Camping World mobile stores at select race tracks throughout the season for all their camping and tailgating needs.
Following this weekend’s Lucas Oil 200 at Dover International Speedway, Camping World and Good Sam will appear on the No. 54 Toyota Tundra for 10 additional races this season as the primary sponsor.
- · MEETING THE FANS: Fans at Dover International Speedway this weekend may see a familiar face on Friday, May 31 as Darrell Wallace, Jr. visits the campgrounds to meet fans and give out Camping World swag. Be on the lookout between 12:30 and 1 p.m. on Friday for the driver of the No. 54 Camping World/Good Sam Toyota Tundra!
- · FOUR THE POLE! This weekend Darrell Wallace, Jr. will look to score his fourth straight pole at Dover International Speedway. Last season in his fourth-career NASCAR Nationwide Series start, Wallace earned a 12th-place finish after starting from the pole position. His two previous poles came in 2011 and 2012, resulting in a win and a second-place finish, respectively. Wallace claims his ‘Miles the Monster’ trophy from his 2011 K&N Series win as his favorite to date.
- · AUTOGRAPH SESSION: Darrell Wallace, Jr. will join fellow NASCAR Camping World Truck Series stars on Friday, May 31 from 1:30 – 2:15 p.m. at the Lucas Oil display at Dover International Speedway for an autograph session. Stop by to meet Wallace and the drivers of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
- · ROOKIE UPDATE: Following his 27th-Place finish at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 17, 2013, Darrell Wallace, Jr. remains third in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Rookie of the Year Standings. Jeb Burton continues to lead the standings, 16 points in front of Wallace.
- · ALONG FOR THE RIDE: As a new face in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) this season, follow Rookie of the Year Contender Darrell Wallace, Jr., better known as Bubba Wallace, as he chronicles his journey in the social media world. Follow Wallace on Twitter and Instagram: @BubbaWallace. Be prepared for an exciting year as Wallace makes his way around the NCWTS circuit, and looks to add many first to his growing racing resume.
Kurt Busch Off to Dover with Charlotte Momentum
Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (EGR) announced today a partnership with Parade Media Group (Parade). Parade is completely rebranding its print and digital assets, which are set to debut June 2 on the magazine and its website. The program will include primary sponsorship on the No. 1 Chevrolet SS of former Daytona 500 and Brickyard 400 champion Jamie McMurray in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) FedEx 400 Benefitting Autism Speaks at Dover International Speedway.
Through this integrated partnership, EGR offers an exclusive opportunity for Parade to capture the No. 1 motorsports television audience on a day that their new look is released in over 670 newspapers nationwide to more than 59 million readers in print and over 115 million across platforms. The No. 1 Parade Chevrolet SS will be shown on page two of the magazine with a tune-in for the race.
Notes of Interest:
- · The cover on the Sunday, June 2 edition of the re-branded look for Parade will feature “America at its Best” with Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan, hosts of the Emmy-winning syndicated morning talk show "LIVE with Kelly and Michael."
- · Parade began in 1941 as a small publication with a print run of only 125,000 copies and was sold on newsstands for a nickel. With 59 million readers, Parade is now the most widely read magazine in America. The Washington Post is Parade's oldest continuous newspaper partner.
- · Jamie McMurray began his NSCS career with team owner Chip Ganassi in 2002 when he filled in for an injured Sterling Marlin and won his first NSCS race in just his second start at Charlotte Motor Speedway. In 2010, the Joplin, MO, native became one of only three drivers to ever capture both Daytona 500 and the Brickyard 400 in the same season. In his 11th full-time season driving in the NASCAR premier series, McMurray has six victories, eight poles, 41 top-five and 102 top-10 finishes. McMurray is currently 14th in the 2013 NSCS point standings.
Maggie Murphy, Editorial Director of Parade:
"Parade jumped at the chance to sponsor the No. 1 car in the June 2 race benefiting Autism Speaks. Not just because it's a fantastic idea to team one of America's most popular sports and America's most widely read publication, but also because of the connection to Autism Speaks. Parade has done extensive reporting on issues surrounding autism, which are inspired, in part, by my own niece's struggle with autism. We can't wait to see Jamie McMurray put the Parade Chevrolet through its paces, give voice to Autism Speaks and drive to victory!"
Steve Lauletta, President, Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates:
“We are pleased to announce this partnership opportunity. Parade is a longstanding and recognizable brand, so to partner the No. 1 magazine in America with the No. 1 Chevrolet on the massive stage of NASCAR just made sense. We are thrilled to be associated with Parade.”
Parker Kligerman 'Fabricating' Points
Parker Kligerman and his No. 77 Toyota Racing team head northeast to Dover (Del.) International Speedway for Saturday's NASCAR Nationwide Series race with Delaware-based All Metal Fabricators onboard as a one-race co-primary sponsor. The Connecticut native enters this weekend's event in his home region sixth in the Nationwide Series driver's point standings, having 'fabricated' 243 championship points over the last seven events, second to only points leader Regan Smith's 273 during that span.
Including his ninth-place finish at Charlotte Motor Speedway last week, the 22-year-old driver has produced consistent results in his first full-time season in the Nationwide Series. Since finishing 30th due to a parts failure at Las Vegas (Nev.) Motor Speedway in March, he has finished 15th or better in each of the last seven races, including a career best fourth-place finish at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif.
The Northeasterner is hoping to continue his steadfast progression this season as he travels to Dover, a track where he has already proven to be capable of contending for wins in the Truck Series. In last June's event, Kligerman's truck sustained some front-end damage from an early accident, but the talented youngster was able to recover and drove back through the field and ended the day with a runner-up finish in the rain-shortened event. In his first start at the concrete track in NASCAR's third division, he was challenging Cole Whitt for the second position with eight laps remaining when he got loose, made contact with the wall and was relegated to a 21st-place finish.
Kligerman comes to Dover with a solid resume at the concrete track and increased confidence from a productive seven-race stretch. The talented youngster is hoping that he can continue 'fabricating' points at a steady pace as the battle for the 2013 Nationwide Series Championship begins to take shape.