INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY PRESS CONFERENCE Allstate Becomes Title Sponsor of Annual NASCAR Event At IMS Thursday, April 28, 2005, Indianapolis Motor Speedway BOB JENKINS: Ron has given me the high sign. That means that everybody's in place,...
INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY PRESS CONFERENCE
Allstate Becomes Title Sponsor of Annual NASCAR Event At IMS
Thursday, April 28, 2005, Indianapolis Motor Speedway
BOB JENKINS: Ron has given me the high sign. That means that everybody's in place, and we're ready to go. Welcome. Thank you for coming to this news conference here in afternoon. We're going to have a major announcement here in just a few moments. In addition to members of the media, of course, we have a lot of people from the Chicagoland area here. We want could welcome you to the world's greatest racecourse. We are, of course, just a little more than a week away from opening the track for the 89th running of the Indianapolis 500, which with the new pavement that is on the track should be a very exciting month.
But the announcement that we're here today for concerns another event here at the Speedway. So to get things underway, first of all, let me introduce to you the president and COO of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Joie Chitwood.
JOIE CHITWOOD: Thanks, Bob. Welcome, everyone. I might be interrupted briefly as you hear cars out on the track. We want to give you an ultimate feeling of what's going on. We do have Richard Petty out there giving rides. As we hear racing in the background, we didn't plan that just for this occasion.
I wanted to talk today about opportunities and specifically when we think back to the history of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, we think back to an opportunity in 1909 for four individuals to build a racecourse, but really a testing track. In 1911, the next opportunity was to host the Indy 500, the start of something very special in motorsports in this country. We look to World War II and the next opportunities for the Hulman-George family to purchase the track and be its caretaker for the upcoming years.
Well, another good opportunity, one that I think has benefited a lot of fans, sponsors, teams, and specifically stock car fans, was the addition of the Brickyard 400 in 1994. I think that in terms of that addition to their calendar, it helped with the expansion from a Southeastern sport to one of really national recognition. Well, today we're here to talk about another opportunity, and that is the opportunity of finding that truly right partner to entitle the Brickyard 400; and that's what we're here to do today. It's safe to say that we are in good hands moving forward.
With that, I'd like to introduce Joe Tripodi, chief marketing officer of Allstate, and we would like to unveil the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard. (Applause)
JOE TRIPODI: Thank you, Joie, and to the Hulman-George family for giving us the opportunity to partner with them on such a prestigious event in racing. On behalf of the more than 70,000 Allstate employees, agency owners and license support staff, we're pleased to be part of this historic first at the Brickyard. You know, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is as we announce this titling sponsorship, when we thought about what we would, what type of partner that you'd look for in a sport of this nature, we wanted to find one that we kind of all shared common values with. When we think about the shared values with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, we see an industry leader, both Allstate and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. We think of Midwestern roots. We think of an organization that values people, community and fans. And we also think a lot about a heritage of innovation.
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway has had a lot of innovation in its past. It was the first to have mandatory seat belts for drivers, it was the first to mandate helmets for drivers. All the work that they've done on pit crew safety, all the work recently with the SAFER wall concept.
So all of those things, and we thought about Allstate and the innovation and the work that we've done over the 75-year history of Allstate and it's our 75th anniversary next year, things like forcing and getting into Congress to ensure mandatory seat belt legislation, air bag protection for consumers, a whole host of protection items, whether they related to auto or home. We thought this was an ideal partnership for us to work through.
So Allstate has a long history in that area. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway also has the same. And we thought this was an opportunity to represent a wonderful marriage of two great brands coming together in order to deliver and overall enhance consumer experience.
So it's a natural fit, I think it will be a great marriage going forward. I will just say to Joie that I think the Brickyard is going to be in real good hands with Allstate.
Now, there's another part of this announcement that's a first, and I'd like to introduce Brian Corcoran, he's the head of corporate marketing for NASCAR, and we have a little reveal here. Go ahead.
This represents Allstate's now partnership into the NASCAR family and something we've been working on for a while and found another great partner. Brian.
BRIAN CORCORAN: Thanks, Joe. On behalf of NASCAR, it's a pleasure to be here today. As our teams, tracks, drivers and media start to explore perfect partnerships, we certainly can say we're in good hands now with Allstate. After a long competitive search in the category, the auto, home and life insurance, as well as the retirement and mutual funds categories, we're official today to state that Allstate is now an official partner of NASCAR.
What really most excites us about that is not just Allstate's commitment to safety and research and development, but certainly moving forward their commitment to the entire sport. The Brickyard 400 certainly, Joie, is one indication of their commitment, not to just be an official partner, but to be fully integrated in the sport on various levels.
So really, if you look at the perfect opportunity to market quality products and services to over 75 million fans, we're happy to have a very blue-chip partner in Allstate in those categories. And really from the France family and NASCAR, it's great to be in good hands with Allstate. Thanks, Joe.
TRIPODI: Great, Brian. Thank you. (Applause)
When I think about NASCAR and the opportunities presented there, I really think about when you think about the 75 million fans and the kind of passion that they bring, I also think of a lot of what NASCAR is, is getting there, the whole organization, particularly the teams, a lot of preparation on the front end in order to protect the drivers. So when I think about that history of passion, when I think about protection, when I think about preparation, all of those kind of dovetail with a lot of what Allstate stands for. Allstate exists as a company, as a brand to help people feel better protected today and better prepared for tomorrow. We think over the course of the years in our relationship with both the Brickyard and with NASCAR, that we'll be able to highlight that even more and bring this all even more to life for consumers all across the country.
So we'll work with both aggressively in the coming years to hopefully enrich the fan experience and to get people to understand how as one of the pre-eminent insurance brands in the country, we can put everybody in pretty good hands. So I think we've laid a really solid foundation into NASCAR with the Brickyard, to have an analogy, and I think that we're quite proud as an organization to be associated with these two great brands and companies.
JENKINS: Brian, Joe and Joie will be available for your one-on-one interviews, and we'll have questions and answers here in just a moment. But first we have another presentation. Joie would like to make a presentation to Joe.
CHITWOOD: Speaking of Brickyard, we're always known for that famous moniker of what we do and there are a little bit more than 3 million bricks under that asphalt that you see around the track. Last year in the pavement process we do every decade or so, we have taken pieces of the finish line brick and created some memorable items. At this point, Joe, I would like to present you with your piece of the Brickyard.
TRIPODI: Thank you. (Applause)
JENKINS: OK. Now do we have any questions from all of you? Yes, sir.
Q: Could you spell out some of the details of this arrangement and maybe some of the financial details, also?
CHITWOOD: I would be happy to take that, Joe. It is a multi-year arrangement in terms of looking for the right partner out there, the way that we can really leverage the equity of both brands is by doing something long-term, and that was really the only way we wanted to enter into any kind of arrangement.
As it relates to the other part of your question, it's safe to say the significant investment for the partnership is representative of the leadership stature of both companies.
Q: Is that a better way of saying we're not going to release information?
TRIPODI: Yes. (Laughter)
JENKINS: Anyone else? Yes, sir.
Q: Joie, are you concerned at all about losing the name Brickyard, the panache? Are you concerned at all about losing the name?
CHITWOOD: I think one of the things when you look at our branding, the things we do, especially the Brickyard 400, you look at the opportunity to expose that to most customers and use that to your advantage. I think in terms of sharing is with a company like Allstate, it was important for us to find the right company that would take care of that brand. I always refer to myself as a caretaker for this property, that's what I do. I think that I'm very comfortable with Joe and his team that they will take care of our marques and use it appropriately. I think for us it's an extension. You talk about taking the tradition, the pageantry, all the special things about our property, I think those are things that partners want to be involved with. So I'm very comfortable that Allstate will take those and enjoy those for the next couple years.
Q: Is this Allstate's first venture into sports sponsorships?
TRIPODI: No, it is not. We are an Olympic sponsor with the United States Olympic Committee. We are also sponsor of the BCS rankings. So Allstate has had a history of sports sponsorship. I would say this is certainly our first foray into automobile racing.
Q: Is it the safety that matched you?
TRIPODI: I think the safety angle was an important one but, more importantly, it was finding the right partner and match. There are a lot of properties out there, a lot of opportunities to intersect into the sport, but I think with getting the official partner status with NASCAR and then finding the right partner to start as kind of the foundation for our program was really, really the important thing.
JENKINS: Other questions? None? OK. Again, all three are available for one-on-one interviews. Thank you for attending the news conference. We'll see you in a week or so when the track opens for practice for the 500.