The National Association of Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) announced the formation of NASCAR Canada, in partnership with TSN, that establishes a Canadian base of operation with a new office and dedicated staff in Toronto and further extends the marketing of the sport in NASCAR's largest market outside of the U.S.
The business venture with TSN, a division of Bell Globemedia – one of Canada's leading media companies, supports the continued growth of the fan base of NASCAR in Canada and brings a range of sponsorship and licensing opportunities to all businesses involved in the sport. Under the agreement, TSN Events, TSN's marketing division, retains exclusive rights through NASCAR Canada to NASCAR's marketing assets over a multi-year period and will operate NASCAR Canada, providing partners with numerous opportunities in a sport known to have the most brand-conscious and brand-loyal fans.
"We are proud that the company synonymous with sports throughout the country has chosen NASCAR as a partner," said NASCAR Chief Operating Officer George Pyne. "This partnership, which goes far beyond televising NASCAR in Canada, will help grow the NASCAR brand in Canada, attract new fans to our sport, and bring new marketing opportunities to NASCAR sponsors and licensing partners. It will be an important vehicle for NASCAR's continuing support of stock car racing in the Canadian market."
"TSN's assets and relationships will help NASCAR develop new sponsorships while extending current sponsors' reach in a passionate motor sports market. This Canadian beachhead will help establish NASCAR's licensing business in Canada, making NASCAR more tangible to our fans here," said Robbie Weiss, NASCAR's International Director.
NASCAR Canada will provide Canadian businesses with marketing rights to the NASCAR mark; a multi-platform TV, print and radio media program; grassroots initiatives through the NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series which has events at Delaware Speedway in Ontario and St. Eustache Speedway in Quebec; event marketing; and a licensed goods program.
"This agreement is founded on the strength, quality and reputation of two leading sports brands," said Phil King, President, TSN. "It's a unique and unprecedented deal for TSN that provides a launching pad for our Events division and strategically complements our broadcast relationship with NASCAR. We are proud to represent the NASCAR brand."
"NASCAR Canada provides advertisers with one-stop shopping for integrated opportunities," said Randy Paul, Managing Director Sponsorships, TSN Events. "NASCAR's extensive sponsor base of Fortune 500 companies will also have the ability to activate in Canada thereby creating an even deeper connection to an already loyal Canadian NASCAR consumer."
The bond between NASCAR sponsors and fans is unmatched in professional sports. NASCAR fans are three times more likely to purchase the products of NASCAR sponsors versus non-sponsors. NASCAR fans also purchase more than $2 billion in NASCAR licensed merchandise each year.
"Businesses will have new vehicles for extending their communication message through the NASCAR platform in Canada, and fans also will have increased opportunities to purchase officially licensed NASCAR merchandise at more retail locations," Paul said.
Canadian fans already exude a strong passion for NASCAR. With TSN televising NASCAR since the network's inception in 1984, NASCAR is the top-rated motor sport on Canadian television. Additionally, a significant number of Canadian NASCAR fans regularly travel to NASCAR events across the United States.
NASCAR, the second highest-rated television sport in the United States, is also seen in 150 countries and 23 languages through relationships with 30 international broadcast partners.
TSN recently signed a three-year agreement for 16 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series races annually through the 2006 season. Additional NNCS races are broadcast in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet, Craig Media and SPEED Channel.
NASCAR Canada will be based at TSN headquarters in Toronto and will liaise directly with NASCAR's International Division in Los Angeles. The Canadian operation will work closely with NASCAR's New York and Charlotte offices to assist sponsors and licensees, respectively, with their activation plans to extend their reach into Canada.
TSN is Canada's Sports Leader. Established in 2003, TSN Events is an extension of the marketing function that provides integrated business solutions in sport and special events through sponsorship and licensing platforms. TSN Events acquires sports marketing rights, develops original programming and grassroots initiatives, and leverages the strength and capabilities of the TSN brand to meet and exceed customer objectives.
Setting the Canadian sports broadcasting standard, TSN's comprehensive broadcast schedule includes the top-rated sports news program, SportsCentre, as well as the NHL, Toronto Maple Leafs and international hockey, the Olympic Games, CFL, NFL, PGA TOUR and all four golf Majors, Season of Champions curling, NASCAR, Formula One, Champ Car and IRL auto racing, Blue Jays baseball, NBA, figure skating, soccer, tennis and amateur sports action. TSN is available in eight million households. TSN's programming and news content is also available on-line at TSN.ca.
NASCAR is the second most-popular sport on television in the US. In the most recent survey of sports properties, conducted by Street & Smith's Sports Business Journal, NASCAR ranked No. 1 in the areas that sponsors rate as the most important in determining their marketing decisions: the sport's future prospects; responsiveness to customers; fan relationships; and value provided for the money. NASCAR internal research shows that its fans are three times as likely to try and purchase its sponsors' products compared to companies not involved in NASCAR.
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