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Hall of Fame Pitching Sponsorship Platforms

Source: Michael Smith, Special to the Sporting News NASCAR Wire Service  

January 22, 2008

The NASCAR Hall of Fame and its marketing agency, Just Marketing International, have developed 10 sponsorship platforms they hope to sell to 10 founding partners.

Those 10 platforms represent different segments of the Hall, which is expected to open in the first quarter of 2010. Just Marketing, which landed the Hall's account last year, has been on the street since last fall, pitching to many of NASCAR's most prevalent sponsors and biggest spenders, such as Sprint and Coca-Cola. No deals have been finalized yet.

"The sponsors will contribute to the experience," said Justin Johnson, Just Marketing's chief marketing officer. "NASCAR's partners helped build this sport to the level it's at today, and they'll be a very important part of the Hall."

The Hall sponsorships are being sold as multiple-year deals and include a variety of marketing, media and hospitality assets, including tickets to the grand opening and induction ceremonies.

Johnson didn't offer specifics on what the Hall sponsorships sell for, but industry analysts say they're going for high six figures to low seven figures annually, depending on the inventory, which can vary depending on assets such as advertising and corporate events.

NASCAR official partners, which have right of first refusal for their category, have been the first stop for Johnson's sales team. A Hall sponsor that isn't also a NASCAR sponsor will be limited in the promotional use of the NASCAR Hall mark.

Johnson, formerly NASCAR's managing director of partnership marketing, said he works with his former office on some aspects of the Hall, such as research, but the sale of Hall sponsorships typically will be kept separate from NASCAR official sponsorship sales and renewals.

Just Marketing and NASCAR executives are not precluded from sitting in on the same sales call, but that won't be standard procedure. Most of Just Marketing's interaction is with the Hall's officials, with whom they meet twice a week.

Nine of the 10 sponsorship platforms are within the Hall's structure in downtown Charlotte, while another, the mobile marketing exhibit, will traverse the country to races and other events, such as state fairs.

"We're also building in opportunities for corporations to use the building for meetings and other high-end uses," Johnson said.

Additionally, Just Marketing is working with the Hall to create an incentive system for consumers to visit each display area. Kiosks would be set up at the entrance to each section and fans would swipe a hard card that they're given at the entrance. Each time the visitor swipes the card, points are added and those points can be redeemed for licensed items.