TRACKS: Lowe's Home Improvement Secures Naming Rights to Charlotte Motor Speedway
10 February 1999-- 10-Year, $35 Million Sponsorship is Auto Racing's First --
CONCORD, N.C. -- Lowe's Companies, Inc. , the nation's second largest home improvement retailer, today announced a $35 million, 10-year agreement with Speedway Motorsports, Inc. (NYSE; TRK), creating one of the largest and most innovative sponsorships in auto racing history. Under the agreement, Charlotte Motor Speedway will be renamed "Lowe's Motor Speedway," making Lowe's the first corporation to purchase naming rights at a major auto racing facility.
The agreement also designates Lowe's as the "Official Home Improvement Warehouse of Speedway Motorsports" (SMI) and all other SMI properties, including Atlanta Motor Speedway, Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway, Sears Point Motor Speedway (Sonoma, Calif.), Texas Motor Speedway (Dallas) and newly acquired Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
"This sponsorship puts the Lowe's Home Improvement Warehouse name on one of the greatest sports facilities in the country," said Bob Tillman, chairman and CEO of Lowe's. "It also gives Lowe's the exclusive home improvement category marketing rights at Speedway Motorsports' six race tracks nationally, which collectively account for nearly 50 percent of the seats on the NASCAR Winston Cup circuit."
The contract is valued at $3.5 million dollars per year over the next 10 years, making it one of the largest sponsorships in motor sports history. "Lowe's has been connected with racing for many years," said Speedway Motorsports Chairman and CEO Bruton Smith. "We have been impressed with their growth and sports marketing efforts and feel this is a great partnership."
"The new trend in sports marketing has been selling the naming rights at various venues," said H. A. "Humpy" Wheeler, president of Lowe's Motor Speedway. "I think it is significant for us to be the first in the motor sports industry to do this. We will continue to find ways to be innovative in motor sports marketing and facility management. This partnership with Lowe's will allow us to make this an even better venue for our fans."
With six Speedways, nine Winston Cup point races and more than 300 other events at SMI tracks every year, the partnership compliments Lowe's existing sponsorship of Richard Childress Racing (RCR) and the No. 31 Lowe's Chevrolet Monte Carlo driven by Mike Skinner on the NASCAR Winston Cup Series.
In 1999, Lowe's Motor Speedway will host numerous auto races and other events. Major NASCAR events include The Winston all-star race (May 22), Coca- Cola 600 (May 30) and the UAW-GM Quality 500 (Oct. 10).
Lowe's Companies, Inc., is the second largest retailer of home improvement products in the nation, serving over four million do-it-yourself retail and commercial business customers weekly in 487 stores in 27 states.
Headquartered in North Wilkesboro, N.C., the 52-year-old company employs more than 65,000 people. More information on the company is available on Lowe's web site at www.lowes.com.
Speedway Motorsports is a leading marketer and promoter of motorsports entertainment in the United States. SMI owns and operates the following premiere facilities: Atlanta Motor Speedway, Bristol Motor Speedway, Lowe's Motor Speedway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Sears Point Raceway and Texas Motor Speedway. SMI also provides event food, beverage, and souvenir merchandising services through its Finish Line Event subsidiary, and manufactures and distributes smaller-scale, modified racing cars through its 600 Racing subsidiary.