Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 21, 2013 04:36 PM
NASCAR’s premier race, the Daytona 500, kicks off this weekend and the public’s interest has been piqued by the fact that Danica Patrick earned herself the pole position at the front of the race, becoming the first woman to ever do so.
That extra bit of interest couldn’t have come at a better time for NASCAR, which is unleashing a new marketing campaign this week to help it re-engage with its current fans and hopefully rope in a few more.
It will feature nine new commercials, radio and print ads and, of course, “digital engagement." The spots will feature more than two dozen of its drivers and be broadcast in both English and Spanish, according to a company release. Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 17, 2012 01:31 PM
The world loves Formula One racing — well, most of the world. The sport is said to be worth $3 billion annually around the globe, an amount that would grow if only America would learn to love extremely cool-looking cars zooming around at 200 mph. Now they will (once again) have a chance to go speed-dating with F1.
After a five-year hiatus, Formula One is giving the United States another try. The new $400 million Circuit of the Americas track in Austin, Texas, will host a F1 race in November, and another race is planned in New Jersey next year, according to a profile of the sport in the new issue of Vanity Fair. (Red Bull sports marketer Jordan Miller clarified via Twitter that it's 2014 for F1 in NJ.)
“Here’s what the U.S. market has to understand,” said Red Bull driver Mark Webber to Vanity Fair. “F1 is a prototype sport. It’s about pushing the boundaries of technology. It’s luxury. It’s top gear, optimal lap time. The teams are so heavily invested technologically, the cost of shaving one-tenth of a second from a single lap time exceeds $100 million.”
However, as film director Ron Howard tells the magazine, things are a lot safer in the sport than they were back in the ‘70s: “F1 today is still a cool, intense, sexy environment,” he said. “But back in the 70s it was a lot more dangerous. Drivers would go to their first drivers’ meeting of the year, look around the room, and know that a couple of these guys wouldn’t live through the season.” Howard’s next film, Rush, is focused on the sport during that time period, and he's supporting the Circuit of the Americas track opening by attending kick-off festivities on Nov. 1st.Continue reading...
Posted by Michael Waltzer on July 10, 2012 04:04 PM
Following on the viral success of Gymkhana Four, DC Shoes co-founder and professional rally driver Ken Block is back with "Gymkhana Five: Ultimate Urban Playground." Filmed over four days on the streets of San Francisco, it's the most jaw-dropping Gymkhana production yet. The Monster World Rally legend treats SF as his personal playground, with special appearances by rider Travis Pastrana (a DC brand ambassador) and Jake Phelps (of Thrasher magazine). The drifting scenes alone are a thing of beauty — no wonder it generated 4.5 million views within 24 hours of being uploaded on YouTube on Monday. Watch it below.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on June 18, 2012 06:05 PM
An Audi car again won the 24 Hours of Le Mans race in France over the weekend, an impressive 11th win for Audi in the last 13 runnings of the iconic competition — and the historic first victory of a hybrid vehicle at Le Mans. But should an Audi customer really care? They can't buy the R18 e-tron quattro model that won the race, anyway.
The answer is yes, the way Audi executives look at it. And, they say, many customers — even in the United States — actually do. Anecdotally, at least, Audi and its American dealers get plenty of feedback indicating that Audi buyers and luxury-car consumers pay attention even though the race took place across the Atlantic.
"The value" of Audi's dominance of Le Mans, including the weekend win, is "difficult to quantify," said Matt Carpenter, general manager of vehicle sales for Audi of America, to brandchannel. Even so, "the value is very high," he added.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on June 15, 2012 11:47 AM
While Audi and Toyota racers will be battling it out with one another in the 80th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans race in France on Saturday, the two companies — along with several other automotive marques — also will be waging an important battle of the brands.
Audi has managed to win 10 of the last 12 runnings of Le Mans, the world's oldest active sports car race in endurance racing, held annually since 1923. Now, the 24-hour race that is televised in some 60 countries and rivets millions of automotive and racing fans to their TVs is revving up for tomorrow's 24-hour event.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on April 24, 2012 04:06 PM
As the globe tuned in to watch the Formula One race last Sunday in Bahrain — which went ahead despite the slew of politicians, human rights groups, and even F1 fans who argued against it — fans of the sport are questioning what kind of hit the F1 brand has taken as a result of the controversy, particularly as F1 chief Bernie Ecclestone is rumored to be planning a return in 2013.
The controversy stems from the months of violence and political unrest that have snarled the country. Protesters called the race “a publicity stunt by the country's rulers to make the nation seem more unified than it actually is,” according to CNN.
Even though last year’s Bahrain Grand Prix was cancelled due to a spate of violence, F1 officials went ahead with the 2012 race, which saw the ouster of a team of a British journalists (a TV crew for Channel 4) who were covering the anti-government protests hours before Sunday's race. Reporters for CNN, Reuters and the Financial Times were denied entry altogether.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 16, 2012 02:31 PM
A few years ago, it cost anywhere between $15 million and $20 million for a brand to sponsor a NASCAR driver for a full season of driving. They’d get their name on the jumpsuit, all over the vehicle, and whatever mentions the driver could make when talking to reporters.
With the way NASCAR fans are so historically devoted to the brands that their drivers support, the expense was a no-brainer for some brands. But then came the economic downturn and it became hard to justify sticking your logo on a driver’s jumpsuit for the whole season when that money could be helping the company survive. So a lot of NASCAR sponsors started going piecemeal in their sponsorships, selectively choosing different events that they wanted to be associated with.
The upshot: car colors and jumpsuits can change every week. USA Today reports that this new reality can get a little confusing for the circuit’s drivers (and fans) at times.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 27, 2011 10:02 AM
The first-ever Formula One race to be held in India is happening this weekend, Oct. 28-30, and, as a result, F1 branded gear is zooming off the shelves there, according to the Economic Times.
"Since the launch of the latest F1 collection, we have received a positive response from our consumers and we are already seeing a growth in sales. In fact, the collection is already one of the bestsellers at our online shop, shop4reebok.com," Sajid Shamim, brand director Reebok India, told IANS, India’s largest independent news service.
Puma, Reebok India, Inkfruit.com, and Party Hunterz are all benefiting from their association with F1 in India, the site notes. The branded products go way beyond just shirts and caps to include such things as sofa covers and, um, wigs.
Reebok's Shamim told IANS that F1 has been a niche sport in India but it is quickly gaining on other sports in the youth category so Reebok will release another set of F1-related products in March, the Economic Times reports.Continue reading...