Craftsman renews for five years

INDIANAPOLIS (Aug. 4, 2000) - Sears, Roebuck and Co. is extending for another five years its "tough trucks, tough tools" relationship with the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. Officials from NASCAR and the retailer announced Friday that the ...

INDIANAPOLIS (Aug. 4, 2000) - Sears, Roebuck and Co. is extending for another five years its "tough trucks, tough tools" relationship with the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. Officials from NASCAR and the retailer announced Friday that the Craftsman tools brand, which has sponsored the series since its inaugural season in 1995, would continue its sponsorship and marketing partnership through the 2005 season.

"Sears' substantial reinvestment in NASCAR and the Craftsman Truck Series is indicative of the company's belief in the power of motorsports to reach its customers across the U.S.," said George Pyne, NASCAR's vice president of marketing. "At the same time, the significant support Craftsman will provide the Craftsman Truck Series on both local and national levels will assure its continued growth in the years to come."

In addition to being the title sponsor of the series, the agreement calls for Craftsman, America's top-selling mechanic and auto specialty tool brand, to retain its status as official tools of NASCAR and to support NASCAR's Weekly Racing Series.

"The agreement also means there will be increases in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series points fund as well as in individual race purses," said Kevin Triplett, the sanctioning body's operations director.

The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, noted for its rugged racing, consists of 24 events at 23 tracks in 18 states. The series features American-made, full-size pickup trucks including the Chevrolet Silverado, Ford F-150 and Dodge Ram 1500.

"We're committed to this truck series and we're committed to making it bigger and better than it is today," said Mike Helton, NASCAR's senior vice president and chief operating officer.

The renewal agreement contains several other provisions:

Craftsman will create a dedicated advertising campaign across all media in support of its NASCAR relationship and the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series.

Each year, Craftsman will air dedicated NASCAR-themed television commercials during NASCAR Winston Cup and Busch Series Grand National Division races, as well as during each Craftsman Truck Series event. Craftsman also will help sponsor preseason, midseason and postseason programming on the Craftsman Truck Series.

Craftsman will also support NASCAR radio broadcasts, NASCAR-licensed publications and NASCAR Online as part of its multimillion-dollar marketing program.

In individual Craftsman Truck Series race markets, Craftsman will step up local activation with advertising and promotion of the events in print, radio and television mediums. An annual national promotion will link Craftsman's association with the NASCAR Winston Cup and Craftsman Truck Series. Together, these promotional programs also amount to multi-million-dollar annual commitments. Craftsman will augment NASCAR's marketing platform with promotion of motorsports to race fans and Sears customers. Ties to NASCAR and motorsports will be featured on store signs, Sears Craftsman newspaper inserts and Craftsman Club mailers to more than 8 million Craftsman Club members.

"This announcement is more than a sponsorship extension," said Andy Ginger, Sears vice president of brand management. "It's about a renewed and energized marketing partnership between the nation's top brand in tools and the nation's top brand in motorsports.

"It includes new initiatives by Craftsman and NASCAR to reach out to our existing loyal race fans, and to attract new ones. Further, it solidifies our partnership for another five years, enabling us to implement long-term plans for the continued growth of motorsports and our NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series."

The Craftsman Truck Series, founded in 1995, has grown from a predominantly short-track tour to a schedule of major events held at America's top venues, including Daytona International Speedway. Annual attendance is expected to top 1 million fans in 2000, driven by the inaugural Daytona 250 in February and new events at Chicago Motor Speedway, Dover Downs International Speedway and Kentucky Speedway.

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Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Mike Helton