IRL: Indy500: Heritage Motorsports, Aerosmith team up

INDIANAPOLIS, Thursday, May 24, 2001 - Indy Racing League team Heritage Motorsports has formed a unique marketing partnership with the legendary rock band Aerosmith for the 85th running of the Indianapolis 500, it was announced May 24 at the ...

INDIANAPOLIS, Thursday, May 24, 2001 - Indy Racing League team Heritage Motorsports has formed a unique marketing partnership with the legendary rock band Aerosmith for the 85th running of the Indianapolis 500, it was announced May 24 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

This dynamic alliance brings together leaders of their respective fields and breaks the mold of traditional racing partnerships, creating many marketing and business opportunities for both entities.

"This is a great business decision for Heritage Motorsports to be associated with a high-profile band like Aerosmith," said Jim Rathmann Jr., co-owner of Heritage Motorsports. "When we learned Steven Tyler would be singing the national anthem and found out they were interested in getting involved with a team, we jumped on the opportunity. There is going to be a tremendous amount of exposure generated by this program, and if things go well at Indy, we're hoping to make this a season-long deal."

Heritage Motorsports' No. 35 G Force/Oldsmobile/Firestone will be easy to spot during the Indianapolis 500. Driven by 1997 Indianapolis 500 Bank One Rookie of the Year Jeff Ward, it will have a pink-and-silver paint scheme, a caricature of Steven Tyler called the "Screaming Demon" and their new 2001 "Just Push Play" album cover.

The decision by the band members to get involved in motorsports comes from a passion for the sport and an understanding of the cross-promotional opportunities with a highly brand-loyal audience. Having sold nearly 100 million albums worldwide, Aerosmith is one of the most durable and perpetually exciting forces in popular music. The band's new release, "Just Push Play," debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard album chart and has already been certified platinum.

Aerosmith remains a potent chart force and boasts the original line-up of Steven Tyler (vocals), Joe Perry (guitar), Brad Whitford (guitar), Tom Hamilton (bass) and Joey Kramer (drums). The bands kicks off a United States tour June 6 in Hartford, Conn.

At the last sporting event in which Aerosmith participated, the Super Bowl XXXV halftime extravaganza, their performance drew an audience of 86.5 million viewers, earning the highest ratings for any halftime show in Super Bowl history.

"The marketing possibilities of the Indy Racing League, coupled with the star-power of Aerosmith, will deliver vast opportunities for all parties involved in this dynamic deal," said Mark Roesler, chairman of CMG Worldwide and the company that helped create this program for Heritage Motorsports. "Music and motorsports are American passions, so bringing together rock 'n' roll fans with racing enthusiasts is a natural fit. CMG Worldwide is excited to be involved in such a complementary partnership."

Heritage Motorsports, founded just five months ago, has found success in the early stages of the Indy Racing Northern Light Series season. Qualifying third, first and second in the first three races of the season, the team has finished no lower than seventh. Heritage Motorsports has qualified two cars for the Indianapolis 500, with Ward starting eighth and Stephan Gregoire 29th.

"What a year this new team is having," said John Mecom III, co-owner of Heritage Motorsports. "Each day we get stronger, and I think this team is going to go through the roof with this new partnership with Aerosmith. The deal brings new confidence and energy to the team, and people are going to go nuts over the car.

"We want marketing partnerships that are innovative and creative, and this deal will be attractive to a lot of major companies."

-IRNLS/IMS-

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Stephan Gregoire , Jeff Ward