Valvoline, Mark Martin Partner With Big Brothers Big Sisters

11 February 1999

Valvoline, Mark Martin Announce $1 Million Partnership With Big Brothers Big Sisters Of America
   Nascar Superstar, Sponsor Dedicate '99 Winston Cup Season To BBBSA

    DAYTONA, Fla., Feb. 11 -- The Valvoline Company and NASCAR
superstar Mark Martin today announced the most ambitious cause-related
endeavor in the company's 133-year history - the "Caring Hands" program, which
has a goal of raising $1 million for Big Brothers Big Sisters of America while
recruiting 10,000 new volunteer mentors known as "Bigs."
    Martin, a perennial visitor to victory lane and the 1998 Winston Cup
Championship runner-up, said during a morning news conference at Daytona
International Speedway that he will race for Big Brothers Big Sisters of
America (BBBSA) throughout the 1999 season, beginning with Sunday's Daytona
500.  Valvoline, which has sponsored Martin for 10 years, will make a cash
donation to the organization for every lap he leads, every pole he wins and
each trip he makes to the winner's circle during Winston Cup points events.
    For his efforts, the organization has named Martin an honorary Big
Brother.
    "Today, I've never been more proud to be associated with Valvoline," said
Martin, who was flanked by Valvoline President James J. O'Brien, Big Brothers
Big Sisters of America National Executive Director Tom McKenna and BBBSA
national board member, spokesperson and ABC Sports commentator Lynn Swann.
    "We've been together for 10 years, and the loyalty and support I've
received from Valvoline has everything to do with where I am today, with where
this sport is today.  The fantastic growth of NASCAR presents a platform for
us to give back.  Today, we're stepping up on the platform - and inviting our
fans to join us - to help raise money and awareness for Big Brothers Big
Sisters of America."
    Valvoline will host track-side fund-raisers at 15 Winston Cup stops where
race fans can literally leave their mark on the program by putting their
handprints on a large canvas wall.  Valvoline will contribute $1 to Big
Brothers Big Sisters of America on behalf of the fans for every set of
handprints.  Fans will be encouraged to match the donation.
    Money raised at each track-side event will go to the local Big Brothers
Big Sisters of America agency.  These events will also be a forum to recruit
additional "Bigs" through distribution of volunteer information.  "Bigs" are
men and women who volunteer as caring adult mentors for boys and girls
primarily from single-parent homes.
    O'Brien kicked off the "Caring Hands" program at the news conference by
presenting a $50,000 check from Valvoline to McKenna.  Later, O'Brien,
McKenna, Martin and Swann put their handprints on a miniature version of
the wall.
    "The Valvoline Guy is a mindset, and part of that mindset is being
principled, caring and giving.  That's what being a Big Brother or Big Sister
is about, and it's what this alliance is about," said O'Brien, a Big Brother
himself since 1997.
    For Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, the program provides a unique
opportunity, McKenna said.
    "This is our first foray into NASCAR, and tapping into its exploding
popularity presents an outstanding opportunity to help us reach our national
growth goals through increased awareness and financial support," he said.  "We
are very fortunate to be partnering with a premier motor sports sponsor in
Valvoline and a front-running driver like Mark Martin."
    Philadelphia-based Big Brothers Big Sisters of America and its more than
500 affiliates nationwide strive to make a positive influence in the lives of
children and youth, primarily through professionally supported, one-to-one
relationships with caring adults, and assist them in achieving their highest
potential as they grow to become confident, competent and caring people.
    Currently, 35,000 young people are waiting to be paired with "Bigs."
McKenna is confident the campaign will narrow the gap.
    "With the help of Mark Martin, and with the generous support of NASCAR
fans around the country, this program will make a huge difference in the lives
of thousands of children," O'Brien said.  "It's our hope that this alliance
will inspire others to lend their time, talents and financial resources to Big
Brothers Big Sisters of America and help us provide caring adult role models
for every child that needs one."
    If Martin has a season anything like 1998, he certainly will help make
that hope a reality.  For every Winston Cup race Martin wins, the company will
make a $5,000 contribution to Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.  In
addition, Valvoline will donate $2,500 for every pole Martin secures and $20
for every lap he leads throughout the season.
    Martin and Valvoline also will periodically tout the program on racing
telecasts via the Valvoline No. 6 Ford Taurus in-car camera, which has helped
Valvoline win the brand awareness championship among Winston Cup team sponsors
for six consecutive years.
    Valvoline motor oil is the No. 1 choice of top mechanics for use in their
own vehicles.  Valvoline, a division of Ashland Inc., has been serving
American motorists longer than any other motor oil company and is a leading
innovator and supplier of quality, high-performing automotive and industrial
products in more than 140 countries.  Best known for its lubricants, Valvoline
also markets Eagle One appearance products, Zerex antifreeze/coolant, SynPower
Performance Products and Pyroil automotive chemicals and refrigerants.
Valvoline is a member of the Ashland Inc. family of companies.
For more information about Valvoline, visit the company's Web site at
http://www.valvoline.com.
    Big Brothers Big Sisters of America (BBBSA), based in Philadelphia, is the
nation's most widely known youth mentoring organization providing children
with caring adult role models on a one-to-one basis for almost 100 years.  Its
national growth goal is to double the number of mentoring relationships to
200,000 through the year 2000 through its more than 500 affiliated agencies
across the country.  For more information, visit the BBBSA Web site at
http://www.bbbsa.org.



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