News

Turner, Ops Rev Up NASCAR Push

7/14/2002 8:00 PM Eastern

Turner Network Television is accelerating the rate of affiliate promotions tied to its National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing coverage this year.

Turner Network Sales senior vice president of marketing and sales Coleman Breland — who called last year's NASCAR affiliate promotion Turner's biggest ever — said TNT will stage an even more high-octane effort this year.

The multi-faceted promotion, which spans the network's coverage and runs from late July through November, has been tuned up a bit. The goal: to generate far more in local ad sales than last year, while also focusing more attention on affiliate subscriber-acquisition and cable-modem objectives.

For example, this year's "TNT Show Car Tour" will be used to bolster sales of operators' high-speed Internet access services, as well as generate local ad dollars, Breland said. Last year, the promotion was almost totally ad-sales-driven.

The tour will drive through nearly 50 markets through December, with the first 100 visitors at each "pit stop" to get a souvenir: A Polaroid photo of themselves in the show car.

In addition, TNT's track-events promotion will again be made available to affiliate marketing departments, said Breland. At nine racetrack locations, subscribers and advertisers will be given VIP tours and pre-race rides in the official NASCAR pace car, he said.

Then, there's the "TNT Fast Track Promotion," which was limited to 100 participating affiliates last year. That element was so well-received that "we've ratcheted this up to 250 operators" for 2002, Breland said.

The prizes in that promotion are six tickets to any one of 16 NASCAR Winston Cup races or two "TNT Premium Prize Packs," which include a TNT jacket, T-shirt, hat, binoculars and more.

For the show-car tour, affiliates tend to target retailers and fast-food outlets, as well as other prospective clients with large parking lots, said Breland.

Last year, many operators found it effective to use one or more components in the high-profile NASCAR promo tie-in to entice local clients into advertising on cable, Breland said. A Charter Communications Inc. system in Kingsport, Tenn., for instance, booked a new-to-cable Hardee's franchise.

The NASCAR promotion last year garnered $77,000 in incremental dollars for an unidentified system in Los Angeles and $63,000 for another operator in North Carolina, he added.

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