"Honorary Grand Marshal" Winner
Racing fan and Columbus, North Carolina resident Mickey Jackson, and five-year-old son, Kalob, earned the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to deliver the 'gentlemen, start your engines' command live at this year's Bank of America 500. Bank of America today announced Mickey as the winner of the Bank of America 500 Honorary Grand Marshal contest, a consumer promotion supporting the company's title sponsorship of the October 14 race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
For winning the contest, Mickey earns the title of "Honorary Grand Marshal" of the Bank of America 500 and the opportunity to deliver the race-start command, a VIP experience on race day for him and a guest, including pit passes, seats in Bank of America's newly created, exclusive fan section in the fourth turn terrace at Lowe's that provides access to a private food court, food and beverage vouchers - and a gift pack of Bank of America 500 racing merchandise.
"Never in my life did I think I would have the chance to start a NASCAR race under the lights at Charlotte Motor Speedway," said Mickey Jackson, a carpenter from Columbus, NC. "Standing before thousands of passionate fans and an even larger national television audience to start the Bank of America 500 is any racing fan's dream come true."
The contest challenged 25 final participants to audition their best race-start command by impressing a panel of celebrity judges with their delivery, creativity and enthusiasm. The panel of judges included legendary driver Buddy Baker, Charlotte Motor Speedway President and General Manager H.A. "Humpy" Wheeler, PRN Talent Kent Bernhardt and Bank of America Racing Platform Executive Jill Gregory.
"We are proud to provide race fans with this kind of unique access to the first-ever Bank of America 500," said Jill Gregory, Racing Platform Executive, Bank of America. "Bank of America is thrilled to be playing a major role in America's fastest growing sport and we know the value of connecting with some of the nation's most passionate fans through great product offerings and once-in-a-lifetime experiences."
The Bank of America 500 Honorary Grand Marshal contest is just one part of a larger integrated marketing program that the company has deployed to support its title sponsorship of the October 14 race. Other program components include:
A Celebration of Champions
To mark the inaugural Bank of America 500, Bank of America and Lowe's Motor Speedway have planned a special race-day show to recognize and honor past champions whose achievements exemplify the values of teamwork, leadership and winning. Race fans can expect to celebrate the thrilling achievements of such legends as Speedy Thompson, Junior Johnson, Buddy Baker, Charlie Glotzbach, Bobby Allison, Benny Parsons, Harry Gant, Richard Petty, Rusty Wallace, Geoffrey Bodine, Ernie Irvan, Dale Jarrett and Jeff Gordon.
Exclusive Fan Hospitality
Bank of America has created hospitality programs to provide customers and race fans with unique and exclusive access to all the racing action during the Bank of America 500.
The Bank of America "Champions Club" is a one-of-a-kind, high-end mobile hospitality vehicle stationed in the infield that entertains invited guests in a high-tech, race-themed environment. The "Champions Club" provides a first-class NASCAR experience with amenities such as an observation deck for a birds-eye view of all the action, an internet lounge, full bar and flat screen TV’s.
Bank of America also has created an exclusive seating section located in the fourth turn terrace at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. The section will provide a great view of the race including access to a private food court, food and beverage vouchers and a gift pack of Bank of America 500 racing merchandise. In addition, select members of the exclusive seating section will have the chance to watch driver introductions first-hand from the track.
Through the Bank of America 500 Refer-a-Fan™ promotion, race fans who refer a friend or family member to open a new Bank of America checking account at any participating banking center can each own a free limited edition die-cast collectible car featuring the inaugural Bank of America 500 race logo. The Bank of America 500 Refer-a-Fan promotion runs through October 31. Fans can visit their local neighborhood banking center for more details. (While supplies last. Quantities are limited. Bank of America N.A. Member FDIC.)
Race fans also can earn rewards at every turn by applying for a NASCAR RacePointsSM Visa? credit card featuring more than 80 drivers and offered only by Bank of America. Through the RacePointsSM program, fans can redeem points with every purchase to obtain such merchandise as the car flag of their favorite driver, to attend the red-carpet driver-introductions or to serve as a crew member for a day. To learn more about the costs and benefits of the NASCAR RacePointsSM Visa? credit card or to apply, fans can stop by any local neighborhood banking center, call 1-800-932-2775, or visit www.bankofamerica.com.
"Today’s contest, and all the other activities planned for the October race, illustrates Bank of America’s commitment to give racing fans incredible value and unique experiences every chance they get," said Wheeler. "We’re excited to partner with them for what we know is going to be a memorable Bank of America 500."
Bank of America’s involvement with racing dates back to the early 1980’s, when its legacy banks in Virginia and North Carolina sponsored races and provided financing for motor speedways throughout the United States. Over the last two decades, the company’s foray into racing has significantly expanded.
Today, Bank of America has multiyear sponsorship agreements with International Speedway Corporation (ISC) and Speedway Motorsports Inc. (SMI), for a combined total of 10 track sponsorships and title sponsorship of the Bank of America 500 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Concord, NC. In addition, through its completed merger with MBNA, Bank of America is designated the Official Credit Card Issuer of NASCAR - with participation from more than 80 drivers - and all SMI and ISC tracks. Bank of America also is the presenting sponsor of "Countdown to Green," NASCAR’s pre-race program, which airs on NBC and TNT prior to each Nextel Cup Series race.
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 more than 54 million consumer and small business relationships with more than 5,700 retail banking offices, nearly 17,000 ATMs and award-winning online banking with more than 19.8 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 175 countries and has relationships with 98 percent of the U.S. Fortune 500 companies and 79 percent of the Global Fortune 500. Bank of America Corporation stock (NYSE: BAC) is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.