IRL: Indy Racing has new name and logo, same superb competition

INDIANAPOLIS, Thursday, March 9, 2000 -- America's premier oval-track, open-wheel series has a new name -- Indy Racing Northern Light Series -- effective immediately, according to an announcement today. Northern Light Technology,...

INDIANAPOLIS, Thursday, March 9, 2000 -- America's premier oval-track, open-wheel series has a new name -- Indy Racing Northern Light Series -- effective immediately, according to an announcement today. Northern Light Technology, Incorporated (www.NorthernLight.com), a leading Internet search engine and the creator of the first research engine, and Indy Racing, the series based on the heritage of the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race, have a five-year agreement for series naming rights. The Indy Racing League, founded by Anton H. "Tony" George, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, continues to be the sanctioning body for the newly named series. A new logo using Northern Light blue and gold and incorporating the distinctive red, white and blue Indy Racing car symbol was unveiled, along with the new series name. The name and symbol are included in an oval design, representing the emphasis on oval tracks. This new logo will become the focal point of a comprehensive sponsorship activation plan starting at the MCI WorldCom Indy 200 on March 19 in Phoenix, televised live on ABC. "We believe the name Indy Racing Northern Light Series more accurately positions Indy-style cars for the future," said George. "As our league develops, we may be adding more support series, and now we have a template in place to handle our future growth." David Seuss, Chief Executive Officer for Northern Light, said the new name and logo allow both organizations to build on current identity while moving forward in promoting the future of the series. "We have a five-year agreement with Indy Racing, and we intend to be active partners in helping to build public awareness of some of the most exciting racing on the planet," Seuss said. Seuss and George reached agreement on the series sponsorship during the weekend of Indy Racing's season opener at Walt Disney World Speedway in late January. "That was a hectic weekend, and it will take us time to roll out all of the new strategies and ideas that are developing with this relationship," said George. "At Indianapolis, we are used to doing things in a big way, and we have found the same spirit of enterprise and competition in Northern Light." "Together, we are going to take Indy Racing to new audiences, new venues and to new prominence," said George. Said Seuss: "Indy Racing is the embodiment of power, speed, technology and competition. There are few, if any, entertainment brands with the worldwide marketing power of the Indianapolis 500, which is the largest single sporting event in the world. Northern Light is thrilled to work with an organization that has the tradition, brand strength, marketing platform, public appeal and vision of the future that Indy Racing brings to its sponsors." Highlighting the five-year, multifaceted agreement is establishment of the Northern Light Cup, which includes $1 million in prize money to the season winner of the Indy Racing Northern Light Series championship. Northern Light has also decided to raise its contribution to the racing purse from a previously announced $500,000 to $900,000. Called the Northern Light Circle of Champions, the fund will disburse awards at each Indy Racing event and will rise each year in proportion to the number of additional events added to the schedule. Each Indy Racing event pays a guaranteed purse in excess of $1 million. As an integral part of the relationship, valued at $50 million during the five-year term of the contract, Northern Light will promote the Northern Light Series on broadcast media, the Internet, with consumer promotions and through its business-to-business marketing programs. The Indy Racing Northern Light Series (www.indyracing.com), founded by George as an all-oval, open wheel Indy Racing series, opened its fifth season in late January with the Delphi Indy 200 at Walt Disney World Speedway on the grounds of Walt Disney World. Robbie Buhl won the race. The series is based on the nine-decade history and tradition of the Indianapolis 500, the world's largest attended one-day sporting event. Races are also conducted in Phoenix, Fort Worth, Texas; Atlanta; Colorado Springs, Colo.; northern Kentucky and Las Vegas, featuring leading drivers such as defending series champion Greg Ray, two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Al Unser Jr., and Indianapolis 500 winners Eddie Cheever Jr. and Buddy Lazier.

-IRL-

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Greg Ray , Eddie Cheever , Al Unser Jr. , Robbie Buhl , Buddy Lazier , David Seuss