Bank of America Signs on as 500 Title Sponsor
Bank of America, one of the world's largest financial institutions, today marked its entry into the sport of racing by announcing an agreement with Speedway Motorsports, Inc. (SMI) to serve as title sponsor of the Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, NC. The agreement with SMI also entitles Bank of America to be an official sponsor of five SMI raceways throughout the country.
Bank of America's focus on racing also includes an agreement with Turner Sports to be the presenting sponsor of the "Countdown to Green" pre-race program which airs on NBC's and TNT's national NASCAR broadcasts.
Bank of America Market President Executive Graham Denton and Global Marketing Officer Cathy Bessant today joined hundreds of bank associates and racing fans, SMI Chairman and CEO O. Bruton Smith, SMI Chief Operating Officer and President H. A. "Humpy" Wheeler, TNT personalities Wally Dallenbach and Marty Snider, and NASCAR driver Kasey Kahne during an announcement ceremony at Bank of America Corporate Center in Charlotte.
"Bank of America and SMI have a long heritage of precision performance, a commitment to teamwork and excellence, a huge base of racing fans among its associates and customers, and deep roots in Charlotte," said Kenneth D. Lewis, chairman, chief executive officer and president, Bank of America. "Through this great partnership, we are looking forward to providing our customers with a world-class racing experience at five of the most prestigious race tracks in the country."
Bank of America's agreements with SMI and Turner Sports are the latest in a proud history of sports marketing programs. The agreements will enable Bank of America to connect with 75 million NASCAR fans across the country at multiple race tracks and during national racing broadcasts.
"We are thrilled to be playing a major role in America's fastest-growing and number one spectator sport," added Bessant. "Bank of America's sponsorship investments with SMI and Turner Sports provide a tremendous opportunity to reach millions of consumers on a national level and in our communities. Bank of America and racing are a natural brand fit."
Through its multi-year agreement with SMI, Bank of America will serve as the official title sponsor of the Bank of America 500 beginning in October 2006 at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, NC, and as an official sponsor of SMI raceways in five U.S. cities: Atlanta Motor Speedway in Atlanta; Infineon Raceway near San Francisco; Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Las Vegas; Charlotte Motor Speedway; and Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth.
Bank of America will leverage its agreement with SMI through racing-themed mass-market promotions and client entertainment and reward programs. It will also host track day camps at each of the SMI raceways. The agreement also entitles Bank of America to place ATMs on-site, prominently display signage throughout the SMI raceways and designate the grand marshal for the Bank of America 500.
"Through the years, Bank of America has been there - in the background - helping us grow," said Wheeler. "With this new agreement, they now have a very visible partnership with our company and title sponsorship of one of the marquee events on the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series schedule. Personally and professionally, I am ecstatic that Bank of America is making this major statement by including the sport of NASCAR racing and our company in their marketing strategies."
Bank of America's agreement with Turner Sports to be the presenting sponsor of the NBC and TNT pre-race show "Countdown to Green" will commence on July 3, prior to the start of The Pepsi 400 at Daytona International Speedway.
According to Trish Frohman, senior vice president of Turner Sports Ad Sales and Marketing, the partnership with Bank of America is an example of Turner Sports' strategy to reach advertisers beyond traditional NASCAR categories.
"Our partnership with Bank of America is a great example of NASCAR's continued appeal within the marketplace and we are pleased to bring this new advertiser and category to our NASCAR coverage," said Frohman. "This is an exciting new partnership and exemplifies the value to our clients of integrating the Turner Sports portfolio and NASCAR as marketing vehicles to boost brand affinity with racing fans."
Elements of the sponsorship include a Bank of America Countdown to Green set design, inclusion in TNT's weekly NASCAR national print advertisement in USA Today, on-air spots in the pre-race show and weekly race, a pre-produced enhancement segment in each pre-race show and event marketing.
Financial terms of the sponsorship agreements were not disclosed.
As a leader in sports marketing, Bank of America maintains agreements with 10 Major League Baseball teams, including the 2004 World Champion Boston Red SoxR; four National Football LeagueR teams, including the 2005 Super Bowl Champion New England PatriotsR; the 2006-2008 U.S. Olympic Team; the Bank of America ColonialR of the PGA TOUR and the Bank of America ChampionshipR of the Champions TOUR; and Bank of America Stadium, home of the Carolina Panthers of the National Football League.
In 2004, Bank of America built upon its sports marketing legacy by becoming the Official Bank of BaseballT, a sponsorship platform that includes simultaneous multi-year national agreements with Major League Baseball, Minor League BaseballT and Little League BaseballR.
Bank of America
Bank of America is one of the world's largest financial institutions, serving individual consumers, small and middle market businesses and large corporations with a full range of banking, investing, asset management and other financial and risk-management products and services. The company provides unmatched convenience in the United States, serving 33 million consumer relationships with more than 5,800 retail banking offices, more than 16,700 ATMs and award-winning online banking with more than twelve million active users. Bank of America is the No. 1 overall Small Business Administration (SBA) lender in the United States and the No. 1 SBA lender to minority-owned small businesses. The company serves clients in 150 countries and has relationships with 98 percent of the U.S. Fortune 500 companies and 85 percent of the Global Fortune 500. Bank of America Corporation stock (NYSE: BAC) is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
Speedway Motorsports (NYSE: TRK) is a leading marketer and promoter of motorsports entertainment in the United States. The company owns and operates the following premier facilities: Atlanta Motor Speedway, Bristol Motor Speedway, Infineon Raceway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Charlotte Motor Speedway and Texas Motor Speedway. The company provides souvenir merchandising services through its SMI Properties subsidiary, and manufactures and distributes smaller-scale, modified racing cars through its 600 Racing subsidiary. The company also owns Performance Racing Network which broadcasts syndicated motorsports programming to over 710 radio stations nationwide. For more information, visit the company's website at www.speedwaymotorsports.com.
Turner Sports presents some of the best and most popular sporting events worldwide and is a leader in televised sports programming. With events airing on three networks - TBS, TNT and Turner South - Turner Sports' line-up includes the NBA, NASCAR and NASCAR.COM, Major League Baseball, Atlanta Hawks basketball, college football, professional golf and PGA.com.
Turner Network Television
Turner Network Television (TNT), television's destination for drama and one of cable's top-rated networks, offers original movies and original limited series, including Into the West, an epic six-week television event from DreamWorks Television and master storyteller and executive producer Steven Spielberg; original recurring series, including the detective drama The Closer, starring Kyra Sedgwick, and the crime thriller Wanted, with Gary Cole; powerful one-hour dramas, such as Law & Order, Without a Trace, ER, NYPD Blue, Charmed, Judging Amy and Angel; broadcast premiere movies; and championship sports coverage, including NASCAR and the NBA. TNT is also available in high-definition.
Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner company, is a major producer of news and entertainment product around the world and the leading provider of programming for the basic cable industry.