Merchandise/licensing group announced

GLENDORA, Calif. (Aug. 12, 2003) - The National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) has named Brainstorm Innovation Group (Brainstorm) as its official licensing agency of record, Gary Darcy, NHRA vice president of marketing, announced today. The ...

GLENDORA, Calif. (Aug. 12, 2003) - The National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) has named Brainstorm Innovation Group (Brainstorm) as its official licensing agency of record, Gary Darcy, NHRA vice president of marketing, announced today.

The comprehensive relationship will focus on the equity of the NHRA brands and expanding the licensing and merchandising programs to better promote the stars of the sport. Brainstorm's initiatives will include promoting and advertising the availability of the NHRA license, maintaining NHRA's brand integrity and reputation and negotiating with potential licensees. A special emphasis will be placed on developing mass market, drug, grocery, convenience store and specialty market retail placement and merchandising to carry licensed products bearing the NHRA mark, and developing new products in current and new merchandise categories.

"By retaining Brainstorm, we're certain that we have found the right partner that will significantly broaden NHRA's reach in terms of licensing and retail distribution," said Darcy. "We're confident that the licensing and merchandising programs that we are developing through this new partnership will help us to promote the stars of the sport and build the NHRA brand. This association will benefit the racers, sponsors and the NHRA by offering greater visibility to NHRA products through a wide range of distribution channels. As a result, I'm certain our drivers, teams and sponsors will gain tremendous exposure, further popularizing the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series among the general public."

In the multi-year agreement, Brainstorm will work under the direction of the NHRA marketing team.

Elliot Lederman, founder and managing member, Brainstorm Innovation Group, served as vice president, licensing and merchandising, for Universal Studios' Consumer Products Group. While at Universal, Lederman managed over $1.6 billion in consumer products business and was responsible for overseeing the licensing of consumer products with all Universal Studios divisions including Universal Pictures, home video, television and networks, recreation group, Vivendi Universal Interactive and third party partnerships.

Mr. Lederman also managed product development and growth of the Jurassic Park franchise including Hasbro's Jurassic Park toy line, which resulted in more than $600 million in retail sales worldwide. He also developed the first cross-licensing initiatives with Universal Studios' properties and motorsports, including NASCAR champions Jeff Gordon, Bobby Labonte and Tony Stewart, NHRA Funny Car champion John Force and Formula 1 champions, Williams F1. Mr. Lederman also formed an innovative motorsports relationship with American Honda's Honda Racing Team. This multi-year partnership created a sponsorship that features Universal Studios' character Woody Woodpecker as the Official Team Mascot for both the Honda Motocross Racing Team and the Honda Road Racing Team.

"We are looking forward to the opportunity to work with the NHRA, its teams, sponsors and tracks," said Lederman. "As one of the most popular motorsports in the country and with a large and broad fan base, the NHRA has extraordinary potential to develop new business in the areas of licensing, promotions and cross-merchandising with the NHRA's licensees and its sponsors like Coca-Cola's POWERade brand. Brainstorm's focus is to unleash the power of equity behind the 52 year history of the NHRA brand, establish new markets through the Sport Compact industry and maximize the exposure for the NHRA's racers and events."

Headquartered in Chicago and Westlake Village, Calif., Brainstorm Innovation Group is a full-service licensing and merchandising agency, specializing in brand management, new business development, retail development and the creation of innovative licensing programs.

Headquartered in Glendora, Calif., the NHRA is the primary sanctioning body for the sport of drag racing in the United States. It presents 23 national events through its NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series. The NHRA has more than 80,000 members nationwide and 140 member tracks. The NHRA-sanctioned sportsman and bracket racing series' provide competition opportunities for drivers of all levels. The NHRA develops the stars of tomorrow by offering the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, NHRA Summit Sport Compact Drag Racing Series, NHRA Summit Drag Racing Series, NHRA Street Legal Program and the O'Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Jr. Drag Racing League for youths ages 8 to 17.


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Series NHRA
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Bobby Labonte , Tony Stewart , John Force
Teams Williams