NASCAR's Waltrip adds partner to Operation Marathon

The Norman Agency Teams Up with NASCAR's Michael Waltrip to Raise Funds -- and Awareness Through Radio PSAs -- for Operation Marathon TORONTO, Dec. 1 - The next time you hear a radio commercial, it may be helping send a severely ill child to...

The Norman Agency Teams Up with NASCAR's Michael Waltrip to Raise Funds -- and Awareness Through Radio PSAs -- for Operation Marathon

TORONTO, Dec. 1 - The next time you hear a radio commercial, it may be helping send a severely ill child to camp. At least that's what NASCAR Nextel Cup driver Michael Waltrip and The Norman Agency of Toronto are hoping for.

NASCAR Nextel Cup driver and two-time Daytona 500 winner Michael Waltrip has made a commitment to raise $1 million to benefit The Victory Junction Gang Camp in an effort called "OPERATION MARATHON: Going the Distance for Kids."

To support that effort, the international award-winning radio-creative house The Norman Agency has made a commitment to donate 10% of their gross revenues derived from "Operation Marathon" projects. These are projects that begin with U.S. and Canadian advertisers saying that they want to help Operation Marathon when they call The Norman Agency to create new radio commercials for them.

"We're so thrilled to have The Norman Agency donate this amount of money and time to Operation Marathon," says Michael Waltrip. "Raising money for the Victory Junction Gang Camp is a powerful incentive as I get ready for the Las Vegas Marathon, which happens January 30 (2005), and those Normans have said they'll be right behind me for as long as we need them."

The Victory Junction Gang Camp was founded by NASCAR Nextel Cup driver Kyle Petty and his wife Pattie. Associated with Paul Newman's Hole in the Wall Gang Camps, Victory Junction's purpose is to enrich the lives of children with chronic illnesses by creating camping experiences that are exciting, fun, physically safe and medically sound. The children and their families pay nothing to attend this North Carolina based camp, so operating costs must be covered by other sources such as OPERATION MARATHON.

OPERATION MARATHON is an avenue for people to donate money to the camp.

Why did Canadian-based The Norman Agency choose Michael Waltrip's OPERATION MARATHON as their charity of choice? "It's simply the right thing to do. The first time I heard about The Victory Junction Gang Camp, I knew I had to do something to contribute. These are kids with illnesses who should be allowed to experience some fun. Who would think of the border as a restriction for compassion?" says Jim Norman, President and Creative Director of The Norman Agency.

Canadians love NASCAR racing. NASCAR is the top-rated motor sport on Canadian television. In fact, it's estimated that up to 10 percent of all tickets sold for NEXTEL Cup races held close to the border are bought by Canadians. And the Canadian Connection to NASCAR goes way back. Remember, for example, that NASCAR legend Richard Petty made his NASCAR debut in Toronto in 1958.

"And here at the agency, we're huge NASCAR fans. It's a requirement of the job to follow NASCAR. It helps promote employee chatter on Monday morning," Norman chuckles.

The Norman Agency has also created a series of radio PSAs for OPERATION MARATHON, all of which feature Michael Waltrip.

"What a blast to write for him," enthuses Norman. "I've written commercials for performers from Saturday Night Live and Second City, actors who have appeared on Broadway but never for a guy who's won the Daytona 500 twice!"

-www.thenormanagency.com

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About this article
Series Charity , NASCAR Cup
Drivers Michael Waltrip , Kyle Petty , Paul Newman , Richard Petty