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By Published on .

Nascar is teaming with CBS and The Nashville Network to create a major integrated marketing platform that will be the racing organization's equivalent of Lollapalooza.

The concept, tentatively titled the Nascar Summer Music Festival, will be tied to the Nascar Winston Cup Series and is slated for summer of 1999. Executives familiar with the plan said Nascar presented the program to its sponsors and licensees last week.

At the same meeting, Nascar executives also said they are undertaking initiatives to craft branding strategies and integrated marketing programs for the organization's other properties, including the Nascar Craftsman Truck Series and the Nascar Busch Series.

Perhaps most ambitious is Nascar's intention to develop a branded platform linking nine different regional touring series, representing more than 2,000 events each year.

Nascar officials would not comment.


The summer music festival builds on 1998's yearlong program celebrating Nascar's 50th anniversary. More than 40 licensees and 20 Nascar sponsors, including Anheuser-Busch, Coca-Cola Co. and McDonald's Corp., bought into the anniversary promotional effort. That program also marked the first time Nascar pooled its online, print, radio and TV resources for an integrated marketing effort.

For 1999, Nascar wanted a program restricted to the heart of its racing season and also promoting its brand in non-race markets.

The Nascar Summer Music Festival will visit 15 to 20 music amphitheaters, not all in cities also hosting the Winston Cup.

CBS has committed to airing one prime-time special based on the tour, while TNN will air at least two and as many as four.

CBS and TNN will promote the festival in their Nascar and non-Nascar programming. The value of that promotional support hasn't been determined, but insiders said it will be substantial.

Nascar is likely to sell a presenting sponsorship for the entire tour and, possibly, also presenting sponsorships for each concert.

In June, Nascar executives will start selling sponsorship packages that include spots in the TV specials and race telecasts, as well as units in all Nascar-controlled media ranging from print to online. A licensing effort, anchored by music and video products, also is in the works.

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