Amid the roar of the engines and the excitement of the race at this year’s
NASCAR Daytona 500, some
new entrants vied for viewers’ attention dot-com companies hoping this
sporting event will give them the boost that others got at the Super Bowl.
The marketing tactic is aimed at reaching the millions of people that make
up “middle America,” those just beginning to get onto the Internet, in the
hopes of capturing their attention and building brand loyalty.
E-mail publishing company Emazing.com
used the race to launch a season associate sponsorship of the No. 17 car, a
Ford Taurus owned by Roush Racing and driven by Matt Kenseth. The company’s
logo will appear prominently on the hood of the car, as well as on the
car’s rear quarter panels and the TV panel on the rear of the vehicle. The
team transporter and the driver’s uniform will also sport the Emazing.com
The company is supporting the sponsorship by promoting it extensively on it
Web site, and it will also conduct a national print and advertising
campaign. In addition, Emazing.com is tapping its own e-mail expertise,
publishing a daily e-mail newsletter to update fans on the car’s progress.
“This marks one of the first significant dot-com season-long sponsorships
in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series, giving us the chance to introduce
Emazing.com to literally millions of racing fans across the country,” says
Joe Pierce, senior vice president and general manager of Emazing.com.
Also sponsoring a racing team is WorldBestBuy.com, an Internet
retailer that has an auto auction service. The company is signing on to be
the lead sponsor for Bobby Hamilton Junior and the ALLCAR Motorsports Team
for the first three races of the series. The company also has the option of
sponsoring the car through the rest of the season.
Business-to-business dot-coms are also getting into the race. Parts.com, an e-commerce company serving
the auto parts industry, is co-sponsor, along with M&M’s, of the No. 36 car, a
As part of the deal, the parts.com log will appear on the car, and on the
uniforms of the driver and pit crew.
“We recognize the importance for parts.com to make its presence known to
automotive enthusiasts around the world,” said Shawn Lucas, president and
co-chief executive officer of parts.com.
“The opportunity to reach nearly 100 million race car and sports fans
through these exciting live events is a great honor and a key marketing
Free ISP FreeInternet.com,
formerly known as Freei.Net, is using the auto racing series to launch its
new television ad campaign, titled “Baby Bob.” The ads debuted on February
19 during the Napa 300 Auto Race on CBS, and spots appeared on the Daytona
The campaign, created by Siltanen/Keehn Advertising, features a baby named
Bob that possesses a genius IQ and an adult sense of humor.
From logos on cars and uniforms, to television spots on race broadcasts,
the NASCAR racing series has clearly become the latest place for dot-coms
trying to raise brand awareness. As Internet companies continue to attempt
to stand out, and as venues like the Super Bowl become more crowded with
dot-com contenders, expect more and more dot-com companies to explore every
possible sports marketing opportunity.