Series trip to NYSE news 2009-06-04

NHRA FULL THROTTLE DRAG RACING SERIES INVITED TO RING OPENING BELL AT NYSE NHRA President Tom Compton and Coca-Cola executives Bea Perez and Ben Reiling will be joined by George Pyne, President of IMG's Sports and Entertainment ...

NHRA FULL THROTTLE DRAG RACING SERIES INVITED TO RING OPENING BELL AT NYSE

NHRA President Tom Compton and Coca-Cola executives Bea Perez and Ben Reiling will be joined by George Pyne, President of IMG's Sports and Entertainment Group

GLENDORA, Calif. (June 3, 2009) -- The NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series, which has more than 20 sponsors and/or partners who are listed on the New York Stock Exchange, has been invited by the NYSE to perform the prestigious task of ringing The Opening Bell at 9:30 a.m. ET on Wednesday, June 10, 2009.

The ringing of the Opening Bell will kick off a momentous week for the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series, which will be hosting the 40th annual United Association NHRA SuperNationals June 11-14 at historic Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in Englishtown, N.J. The NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series remains the only major motorsport to host a race in the New York Area, the nation's No. 1 DMA.

NHRA President Tom Compton will be joined in ringing the Opening Bell by Coca-Cola North America Senior Vice President, Integrated Marketing Beatriz Perez, Coca-Cola North America Director of Motorsports Marketing Ben Reiling and George Pyne, President of IMG's Sports and Entertainment Group.

"This is a tremendous honor, but more important is the statement this makes about the fundamental strength of the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series as an elite sports and entertainment property," Compton said. "And in this climate, in this economy, as companies scrutinize their marketing budgets like never before, return on investment is the imperative on every sponsor's mind and we have never been more confident in our ability to compete -- and deliver -- on both fronts."

It's a fact that one of the pre-eminent players in the sports sponsorship space, Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO, CCE), can endorse.

The globally iconic brand, which was just awarded the "Sports Sponsor of the Year" award at the annual SportsBusiness Journal Awards Show, has sponsored NHRA's top professional series since 2002 and it will continue to do so through at least 2013. Coca-Cola re-branded the Series from POWERade to Full Throttle Energy Drink prior to the 2009 season and heavily activated behind the re-branding, including a series of six commercials and the debut of Full Throttle TV, which can be accessed via NHRA's home page (www.NHRA.com).

IMG's Pyne, whose global sports, entertainment and media company formed a strategic alliance with NHRA in April 2008, added this about NHRA: "When we looked at NHRA, we saw a property with great value. We're very enthusiastic about NHRA and very bullish on its future."

NHRA will also be hosting a fan fest in front of the NYSE that is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. ET. The street will be shut down to accommodate the Matco Tools dragster, Geico Powersports dragster, Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Mustang, Screamin' Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson and the Geico Suzuki. Full Throttle Energy Drink will also present a themed NHRA Full Throttle Series banner on the facade of the NYSE.

The contingent on the podium will include several drivers -- Antron Brown (Matco Tools), Ashley Force Hood (Ford, BP/Castrol), Bob Tasca (Ford), Tony Pedregon (Quaker State), Eddie Krawiec (Harley-Davidson), Morgan Lucas and Karen Stoffer (Geico) -- as well as executives Marci Brand (Castrol), Darryl Hazel (Ford) and Eric Vaden (Geico).

Headquartered in Glendora, Calif., NHRA is the primary sanctioning body for the sport of drag racing in the United States. It presents 24 events through its NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series. The NHRA has 80,000 members and 140 member tracks. The NHRA-sanctioned sportsman and bracket racing series provide competition opportunities for drivers of all levels. The NHRA develops the stars of tomorrow by offering the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, NHRA Summit Racing Series, and the NHRA Drags: Street Legal Style presented by AAA. The NHRA also offers the Jr. Drag Racing League for youth ages 8 to 17.

-credit: nhra

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Series NHRA
Drivers Antron Brown , Karen Stoffer , Ashley Force , Morgan Lucas , Eddie Krawiec