BRASELTON, Ga. (September 23, 2001) -- In its three-year history, the American Le Mans Series has brought much of the color, excitement and pageantry of the famed 24 Hours of Le Mans to all of its events. Now, thanks to a new marketing alliance, another popular tradition of the Le Mans race will be a part of all American Le Mans Series events.
Hawaiian Tropic, which has been part of the spectacle of the 24 Hours of Le Mans for 22 years, has joined with the American Le Mans Series in a new agreement that will bring its promotional models to all series events, beginning with Audi presents Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta on October 6.
Hawaiian Tropic expanded its suncare product distribution to Europe in the late 1970s, providing a natural transition from the company's racing history with NASCAR to increase its brand and imagery through the prestige of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The history of Hawaiian Tropic and the Le Mans race has been a winning combination.
Hawaiian Tropic's models have been a media magnet every year at Le Mans since 1979. Drawing crowds and media exposure wherever they have been at the French racing classic, the models have had a presence in both the driver's parade and in pre-race promotional activities and have served as goodwill ambassadors for teams and drivers.
Four Hawaiian Tropic models will attend every ALMS event. In addition to participating in such pre-race activities as starting grid ceremonies, the models will also hold autograph sessions and make special appearances at all events. The models will all be contestants from the popular Miss Hawaiian Tropic United States and Miss Hawaiian Tropic International pageants.
"Our 22-year history with the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and my personal love for racing is something that I am extremely proud of and an area in which we have been looking for ways to expand," said Ron Rice, owner and founder of Hawaiian Tropic. "The crowds, media, drivers and other sponsors have come to know the Hawaiian Tropic promotional team as an annual focal point at this very prestigious race and we are equally anticipating the same reception with the American Le Mans Series."
"Hawaiian Tropic's history with the 24 Hours of Le Mans has provided us with exceptional exposure during the month of June," said Jeff Lalanne, Vice-President of Advertising for Hawaiian Tropic. "This new and exciting ground floor relationship with this fast-growing series allows us valuable North American exposure for six months in high-profile events. Needless to say, this is exactly where we need to be in terms of crowd exposure and television coverage and it's a win-win situation for everyone."
The American Le Mans Series, founded in 1999, is a series of sports car endurance races and operates on an agreement with the Automobile Club de l'Ouest (ACO), founder and organizer of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Many of the same cars, teams, drivers and manufacturers that compete at Le Mans also compete in ALMS events.
Hawaiian Tropic, with headquarters in Ormond Beach, Fla., is celebrating its 32nd anniversary in 2001. The brand holds a dominant position in U.S. and Canadian markets and ranks first on Caribbean, Mexican and South American beaches.