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A: We have a number of independent stakeholders that come together every weekend to put forward an event. That is different from other stick-and-ball leagues in that they are all collectively organized in a very tight fabric of agreements. Whereas we have a number of them that brings us close together but there is a lot of latitude in terms of what a team can do, what a driver can do, and what the tracks can do.
What we needed to do was to put a game plan together that recognized the need for each of these parties to have their independence ... but at the same time brought us together on these key strategic planks.
Q: NASCAR has enjoyed strong affiliation with its corporate sponsors. How does that work?
A: At NASCAR one in every four Fortune 500 companies invest in our sport. This is the second year in a row that the number of Fortune 500 companies investing in our sport has gone up. It is important that we allow for enough latitude so that a Best Buy or a Cargill can come into our sport and have enough latitude to modify their engagement in a way that drives best return for them.
Q: NASCAR does not run any of its major races in Minnesota, but it’s one of your strongest corporate markets with seven Minnesota-based sponsors. Why is that?
A: I would like to think that our drivers really resonate with Minnesota companies in how they conduct themselves, how they treat the fans, how they see that relationship to the company, to the consumer, to the fan base.
Patrick Kennedy • 612-673-7926