New Sponsors Activating Around the Indianapolis 500

Companies find benefits utilizing the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 to launch new products or services.

The diverse B2B and consumer marketing opportunities the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 offers has drawn new companies and brands to IndyCar who have said they will be using this once in a lifetime event as a platform to launch and create awareness of new products and services.

Here is a brief sample of three such companies:

PennGrade MotorOil (Retail/Consumer Goods)

The first ever Presenting sponsor of the Indianapolis 500 is PennGrade Motor Oil, a brand recently purchased by DA-Lubricants, an existing partner of the Rahal-Letterman IndyCar team.  This is a three year deal and is a very good brand fit for both the fan target market and also with the history of the Indianapolis 500 as Indiana based DA-Lubricants had an association with the “500” back in the 1950s.

The PennGrade brand has typically been targeted towards, and popular with, end users in the high performance and racing engine market.  While continuing with this, DA now plans to bring forward a new PennGrade everyday consumer motor oil brand extension, and use the Indy 500 event platform to launch this new line.

There are strong merits to this program as the fan base fits the target market nicely, plus the large and diverse market channel exposure the event will offer can give the brand a boost in consumer awareness.  In addition, it is a fantastic opportunity to drive excitement and awareness with existing and new distribution and retail customers and use it to develop the lubricants category for its business partners.

"Get You Some Of That!"
“Get You Some Of That!”

Gas Monkey Garage Energy (Lifestyle Brand/Global Television Show)

The “Get You Some Of That” guy Richard Rawlings and his Gas Monkey Garage/Fast ‘N Loud brand empire are using the 100th Running of the race as a platform to launch the Gas Monkey Garage Energy Drink.  IndyCar marketing data shows its fans index much higher than the regular population as consumers of energy drinks, so there is a pretty good fit for a good portion of the IndyCar fan base demographic and psychographic.  I can already envision Gas Monkey Energy at the Speedway’s “Snake Pit”!

GMG has affiliated themselves with a team and driver in Sage Karam who not only have a good shot at winning the race, but also the personality and ability to generate tremendous exposure for the brand.  Sage will be fast and, by nature, will garner substantial headlines.

There are diverse inherent activation opportunities here, including cross promotion with the brand’s clothing merchandise and tequila, retail activation and retailer involvement, event product sampling, and trackside entertainment.  And, with the huge global following of the brand’s affiliated automotive based Fast ‘N Loud show on the Discovery Channel, this program has major brand content production and partnership activation opportunities written all over it.

It will be interesting to watch what GMG and IndyCar do with this.  There is the potential to positively expose a whole new group of folks in North America and around the globe to the world of IndyCar racing, not to mention sell a lot of GMG product!

Pirtek car image

Pirtek International

Pirtek is an Australian owned fluid power systems product and service provider that operates globally through a unique franchisee system.  Having recently brought back ownership of the U.S. market operations internally, the company is ready to resume expansion and growth in the key U.S. market.

Pirtek has utilized motorsports globally to promote its brand for over 30 years and is now moving this into the U.S. through a partnership with Team Murray and Matthew Brabham, grandson of Australian ex-Formula One champion and Indy 500 participant Jack Brabham.  This will see the team run both the Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis and the 2016 Indianapolis 500.

Glenn Duncan, Executive Director of Pirtek International, has said that this program will be used primarily as a platform for expansion in the U.S. market through building up its franchisee service network and services.  It also appears that the investment will be leveraged globally, especially in the Australian and New Zealand markets where the Brabham name is extremely strong.

On the face of it, this seems like a sound move.  One can see the fantastic B2B opportunities this event offers Pirtek to not only build brand awareness, but also provide a unique environment to influence existing and potential end use customers in the key business industries which the company services (manufacturing, mining, construction, earth moving, defence).

Individuals who own businesses utilizing fluid power systems would be found in the IndyCar fan/support base, thereby allowing for brand awareness projection opportunities.  Pirtek can also tap into leveraging business opportunities within the IndyCar partner and sponsor corporate ecosystem.  The opportunities to transition potential users into purchasers of Pirtek’s services will be numerous.

Team Murray has indicated a full social media program with content directed to fans around the world will also be part of this program.

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