Nascar Seeks Agency to Help Attract Youth, Multicultural Fans

Incumbent Jump Co. Will Be Invited to Pitch But Likely to Face Uphill Battle

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Nascar is planning to launch an agency review as it seeks a shop that can help increase its fan base among youth and multicultural audiences, Ad Age has learned.

The review follows the arrival last fall of Kim Brink, Nascar's managing director-brand, consumer and series marketing, who had spent time at Cadillac.

Kim Brink
Kim Brink

Ms. Brink told Ad Age that the incumbent, Jump Co., which has worked with Nascar since 2005, will be invited to participate. The St. Louis-based agency will compete against three or four other shops.

Jump most likely faces an uphill battle, as Nascar is looking for a full-service agency experienced in youth, multicultural (with a focus on the Hispanic market) and digital marketing, as well as media planning and events and promotions capabilities. The ideal agency will also have background in sports, a passion for Nascar and demonstrated success in leading a transformation at a similar organization, Ms. Brink said.

"As we started taking a look at our future vision, we took a look at our evolving needs and realized we need agency resources to meet those needs," Ms. Brink said. "We want to make sure we have a class-leading full-service agency."

Ms. Brink said the budget will be "way north" of the $24 million Nascar spent on measured media in 2011. "But it's bigger than the fee pay or media dollars against it," she added. "It's a very ripe place for [the agency] to demonstrate their capabilities to all the Fortune 500 companies involved with Nascar."

The review follows a five-year plan that Nascar outlined in 2011 with these goals: Build the star power of individual drivers, increase engagement among children and college-age consumers, attract a multicultural fan base (specifically Hispanics), craft more cohesive digital- and social-media strategies, and improve fans' racetrack experience.

Earlier this year, Nascar renegotiated a deal with Turner under which Nascar will regain editorial control of its digital- and social-media properties starting in 2013.

Nascar will begin talking to certain agencies in the coming weeks but doesn't expect the pitch process to begin in earnest until June. Ms. Brink said that she hopes to have the agency's new work in the market for next year's start of Nascar season, in February.

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