IRL: Indy Racing League Notebook 2004-04-01

Indy Racing League News and Notes April 1, 2004 Today's IRL headlines * Indy Racing Fan Experience nominated for award * Franchitti inks deal with Revo sunglasses * Fernandez completes first test * Drivers to make appearance at Pacers...

Indy Racing League News and Notes
April 1, 2004

Today's IRL headlines
* Indy Racing Fan Experience nominated for award
* Franchitti inks deal with Revo sunglasses
* Fernandez completes first test
* Drivers to make appearance at Pacers game

Indy Racing Fan Experience nominated for award: The Indy Racing Fan Experience is a finalist for a 2004 Ex Award presented annually by Event Marketer. The Ex Awards honor the proven effectiveness and creativity behind the year's best event and experiential programs.

The Indy Racing Fan Experience, a one-of-a-kind, interactive mobile entertainment experience, touched more than 1.6 million people in 2003 and returned for its second season-long, country-wide tour in February. It is one of three finalists for the "Best Mobile Marketing Program" appearing in 25 or more markets in a year. The Indy Racing Fan Experience is a joint project of the Indy Racing League and ignition Inc., an Atlanta-based experiential marketing agency.

"We are very proud of the Indy Racing Fan Experience and the work done by ignition to offer our fans a one-of-a-kind experience," said Bill Long, vice president of marketing for the IRL. "The Indy Racing Fan Experience is a one-of-a-kind experience that was designed to not only have a creative impact but give the league, its drivers and tracks tangible results."

Designed to bring fans of all ages closer to the excitement of the IRL IndyCar® Series, the Experience is divided into five properties -- Indy Racing Challenge, Indy Racing Kids, the Indy Racing Live stage, Indy Racing Pit Stop Challenge and Indy Racing Gear. All five properties traveled to race markets throughout the 2003 season and came together as one to create a carnival of sight, speed and sound at the racetrack each weekend.

Although the Fan Experience made many stops in each race market, it could also be found at many other venues from coast to coast. It visited more than 20 states and covered more than 30,000 miles in 2003.

Several of the properties visited Major League Baseball parks, car dealerships, city parks, national retail stores and national landmarks. The Fan Experience also made a two-day stop at the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky.

According to Event Marketer the Ex Awards are "100 percent about pure Grade A events and judged by a panel of brand-side marketers. Event programs are emerging as the marketing medium of the 21st century, where the many "established" marketing disciplines come together to support a LIVE expression of the brand. Accomplishing it all in a way that is relevant, entertaining, and engaging--and did we mention flawlessly executed?--takes creativity, talent, skill, experience, and, ahem, guts."

The Ex Award winners will be announced on April 19 during a gala evening reception at the Hotel InterContinental Chicago.

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Franchitti inks deal with Revo Sunglasses: Dario Franchitti has signed an endorsement deal with Revo sunglasses for the remainder of the 2004 season.

As part of the deal, Franchitti will appear in the main "Front Door" promotion in more than 1,300 Sunglass Hut outlets throughout the U.S. during the month of May, just prior to the Indianapolis 500.

"I'm delighted to be involved with such a fantastic sunglass brand as Revo and aligned with a retail outlet like Sunglass Hut," said Franchitti. "In my line of work, vision is an important asset to my at-track performance and the Revo advancement in lens technology is second to none. I'm looking forward to wearing their sunglasses at the Indy 500 and for the rest of the IRL season."

Franchitti will promote Revo's new line of stainless steel sunglasses in storefront windows of Sunglass Hut stores in the U.S.

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Fernandez completes successful test: The IndyCar Series' newest driver, Adrian Fernandez, turned a total of 157 laps around Phoenix International Raceway during a manufacturer's test day on March 30.

"We had a really good test," Fernandez said. "We had the opportunity to learn more in a relaxed manner. We did a lot of work for Honda and some for ourselves with the chassis. I was able to practice restarts, and the issue like we had at the Phoenix race. The gearbox is very critical and you have to be careful; I learned what areas to be careful. This was our last test before Japan. On the whole, we are not quite there yet but we learned a lot today and I think we will be competitive in Japan."

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Drivers to make appearance at Pacers game: IndyCar Series drivers Ed Carpenter, Mark Taylor and Dan Wheldon will appear at Indy 500 night on April 2 at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.

The drivers will sign autographs from 6:30 p.m. to 7:15 p.m. in the IMS Pavilion and serve as honorary scorers for the Indiana Pacers game with the Toronto Raptors.

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The 2004 IRL IndyCar Series season continues with the Indy Japan 300 at 11:30 p.m. (EDT) on April 16 at Twin Ring Motegi. The race will be broadcast live on ESPN2 and the IMS Radio Network. The Menards Infiniti Pro Series Futaba Freedom 100 will take place at 2 p.m. (EDT) on May 22 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The race will be broadcast live by ESPN2.

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Mark Taylor , Adrian Fernandez , Dario Franchitti , Dan Wheldon , Ed Carpenter