Indy 500: MCI Allies with Pep Boys IRL, IMS
21 May 1998MCI NAMED OFFICIAL LONG DISTANCE AND LOCAL SERVICE PROVIDER OF PEP BOYS IRL AND INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY
INDIANAPOLIS, May 21, 1998 -- MCI, the Pep Boys Indy Racing League and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway announced today that they have entered into an agreement establishing MCI as the "Official Long Distance and Local Service Provider of the Pep Boys Indy Racing League and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway."
"We are pleased to include MCI in our family of sponsors," said Tony George, president and chief executive officer of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the founder of Pep Boys IRL. "Our success, current and future, depends on having enthusiastic marketing partnerships from the corporate community. MCI brings a record of excellence in its field and a history of active involvement in motorsports."
Andy Deas, director of MCI Sports, said: "Our sponsorship of the IRL and IMS extends MCI's commitment to auto racing and the fans. The roots and traditions of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race run deep in American society and throughout the world.
"We know our global involvement in racing had to include the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Pep Boys IRL," Deas said. "We are looking forward to working with Tony George, IRL Executive Director Leo Mehl, and their staffs."
The Pep Boys Indy Racing League is in its third full season of open-wheel, oval-track racing, based on the heritage of the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race. There are 11 races in 1998 at some of the nation's top racing venues, including Phoenix, Orlando, Fort Worth, Charlotte, Atlanta, Dover, Del., Colorado Springs, Loudon, N.H., Las Vegas and Indianapolis.
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is host to the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race, first run in 1911. The Indianapolis 500 is the world's largest attended single-day sporting event. It also is the site of the Brickyard 400, a NASCAR Winston Cup race, with is the world's second largest attended single-day sporting event. IMS also owns the Walt Disney World Speedway on the grounds of the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World. It is the site of the annual Indy 200 at Walt Disney World, next scheduled for Sunday, Jan. 24, 1999. The mission of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is world leadership in motorsports entertainment.
With today's announcement involving the Pep Boys IRL, MCI now has sponsorships in all three of the world's premier open-wheel racing series. Last year MCI became the "Official Communications Company of CART" and the "Official Long Distance Provider" of 16 of 19 of its racing venues, as well as a primary sponsor of Arciero-Wells Racing and the No. 25 MCI Toyota driven by Max Papis. In December 1997, MCI announced a sponsorship with Stewart Grand Prix in the Formula One series..
MCI, headquartered in Washington, D.C., is a leading provider of local-to-global communications services to business, government and residential users. The company's fast-growing portfolio of advanced data and IT services accounts for a quarter of MCI's approximately $20 billion in annual revenue. MCI operates one of the world's largest and most advanced digital networks, connecting local markets in the U.S. to hundreds of locations worldwide. MCI has agreed to merge with WorldCom, one of the world's fastest-growing communications companies. The merger, expected to be completed in mid-1998, will create MCI WorldCom, a company uniquely positioned in the U.S. local and long distance markets as well as the global data and Internet markets.