Motorsports series uses promotional partnerships to enhance sponsor visibility and build fan base.
The IZOD IndyCar Series will turbocharge sponsor exposure following the July 19 launch of Turbo.
As previously reported in IEG SR, the motorsports series last year inked a partnership with DreamWorks Animation and the new computer-animated comedy.
The movie, which centers on a snail who dreams of becoming the greatest racer in the world, will feature a replica of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and include cameo voiceovers from IZOD IndyCar Series drivers.
Similar to other racing movies, Turbo will include sponsor integration. The movie will feature Chevy cars and Firestone tires, while Verizon, Sunoco, Hewlett-Packard and Target gain exposure on the vehicles.
IndyCar convinced Dreamworks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg to include sponsors in the movie for a more authentic experience, said Greg Gruning, IZOD IndyCar Series’ executive vice president of business development.
“We told Jeffery ‘if you want to make the movie authentic, sponsors and partners are critical to our sport.’”
The companies will activate the tie-in through retail and online channels, providing the IZOD IndyCar Series incremental marketing exposure, he said.
In addition to sponsor activation programs, the IZOD IndyCar Series will gain broad exposure through the film itself. DreamWorks defines Turbo as a “four-quadrant movie,” a term used in the movie industry for films that reach the broadcast possible audience.
Below, IEG SR highlights three other sponsorship developments at the IZOD IndyCar Series for the 2013 racing season.
More focus on video games. Looking to build its fan base among 18-to-34-year-old tech-savvy males, the motorsports series this year is placing more focus on the video game category.
The sanctioning body has secured two new online gaming partners—Simraceway.com and iRacing.com—and is close to securing deals with two other companies in the category.
“Our number one goal is growing our fan base and reaching a younger motorsports audience,” said Gruning.
IndyCar will use the partnerships to promote the open wheel racing experience, added Gruning, noting that Simraceway will feature teams and tracks from the IZOD IndyCar Series and the chance to compete against IndyCar drivers.
The return of the Triple Crown. After a 24-year-old hiatus, IndyCar this year will bring back the Triple Crown, a promotion that awards $1 million to the driver who wins all three superspeedway races: The Indianapolis 500, Pocono IndyCar 400 and the MAVTV 500 at the Auto Club Speedway.
The promotion also creates new sponsorship inventory: Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka will title the Triple Crown in 2013.
New endemic partners. IndyCar this year has signed three new endemic sponsors: AutoDesk, Inc., Jostens, Inc. and SOS Global Express, Inc.
In addition, Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations in late 2012 extended its partnership through the 2018 race season. The company sponsors the motorsports series on behalf of the Firestone brand.