Directv Wins Nascar Race

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DIRECTV Inks Deal With NASCAR as New Corporate Sponsor
Tuesday October 18, 2:21 pm ET
Nation's Leading Digital TV Service to Use NASCAR Brand for Consumer Marketing, Retail and Customer Retention Promotions

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. & NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct. 18, 2005--Capitalizing on NASCAR's proven ability to drive customer acquisition and retention strategies, DIRECTV has signed a corporate sponsorship agreement with NASCAR (National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing) that will give the nation's leading digital television service exclusive rights among subscription television distributors to use the NASCAR brand in marketing and advertising promotions through early 2010. ADVERTISEMENT

The sponsorship agreement will enable DIRECTV to create consumer marketing and retail promotions targeting NASCAR's 75 million fans, and leverage the power of the NASCAR brand in promotions for DIRECTV customers who have access to all networks on DIRECTV that air NASCAR events. The company says NASCAR will be integrated into many of its marketing campaigns, including national promotions. Many of these NASCAR-related campaigns will focus on the company's new DIRECTV Plus® DVR. Special NASCAR promotions are also planned.

DIRECTV will also sponsor a NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race team and driver in the 2006 season, and has the rights to use NASCAR marks and taglines to promote its NASCAR sponsorships on DIRECTV receiving equipment, service vehicles and installer uniforms.

"In all my years televising NASCAR races, it's been very obvious to me that everyone involved in NASCAR demands the very best and most reliable equipment," said David Hill, president, DIRECTV Entertainment. "It also became very obvious that the television service most used by everyone in NASCAR is DIRECTV. On pit lane, in the drivers' and their team's motor homes, in NASCAR's official trailers, and in the fans' RVs -- a NASCAR race is a sea of DIRECTV dishes. It made perfect sense to DIRECTV President and CEO Chase Carey, John Suranyi, DIRECTV's president of Sales and Service, and me that we should cement our unofficial relationship."

The networks airing NASCAR events -- Fox, FX, NBC, TNT and SPEED Channel -- are currently available on DIRECTV. Through Fox and NBC, DIRECTV will begin delivering races broadcast in high-definition (HD) when it launches the local HD feeds of those channels in several major markets later this year and early next year.

NASCAR will be an important part of DIRECTV's subscriber acquisition strategy in 2006, as well as a retention tool for existing customers. DIRECTV plans to develop advertising and marketing campaigns to increase awareness of its new DIRECTV Plus DVR among race fans and emphasize how its many features can enhance their race viewing experience on DIRECTV. DIRECTV will also communicate the ubiquity of DIRECTV DVRs in NASCAR racing on pit road and NASCAR control towers. Some of the marketing tactics will include on-site demos enabling fans to get a hands-on feel for the DVR product's performance and quality -- attributes that NASCAR fans are widely known to appreciate.

"Up and down pit road, NASCAR teams are using DIRECTV in their pit boxes. What works on the race track resonates with our fans," said Steve Phelps, vice president of corporate marketing for NASCAR. "As leaders in the world of entertainment and sports, NASCAR and DIRECTV will collaborate to enhance our fans' viewing experience and create marketing programs raising awareness of a sport on the move."

NASCAR partners SPEED Channel, FX, XM Satellite Radio and Nextel Communications have reported strong subscriber gains through their involvement with NASCAR, which is the second highest-rated regular-season sport on television. Avid NASCAR fans consume more than 10 hours of NASCAR media content via television, print, radio and internet each week.

NASCAR is on pace this year to set its highest TV viewership ever, which would mark the first time a professional sport has set its record for TV ratings since the NFL in 1981.

Currently, 106 Fortune 500 companies use NASCAR to drive business results. DIRECTV joins a number of large and successful brands entering NASCAR this year, including Allstate, Office Depot, Gulfstream, Home123, Jackson Hewitt, and Checkers/Rally's. PSB, a market research firm, picked the NASCAR name as the U.S.' No. 2 brand for 2005, ahead of both Google and iPod.
 

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