OAKLAND, Calif. — Search engine Ask.com has entered into new partnerships with The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR), NASCAR.com and Hall of Fame Racing. Under the terms of the partnership with NASCAR, Ask becomes "the Official Search Engine of NASCAR," with category exclusivity and a broad set of promotional rights in order to reach the sport’s estimated 75 million loyal fans.
Under the terms of the partnership with NASCAR.com, Ask will further extend its reach by exclusively powering the search experience on NASCAR.com, the official online destination of NASCAR. NASCAR.com also will make available to its users Ask’s exclusive new NASCAR toolbar, which integrates unique content and is designed to provide fans with convenient access to Ask’s NASCAR search experience, and NASCAR.com’s editorial content.
Using its proprietary technologies, Ask.com will search NASCAR’s digital assets and structured data, making it instantly available to fans by entering natural-language queries into the Ask.com search box. For example, the query "Who was the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series rookie of the year in 1995?" will return the exact answer, front and center on the first results page – something no other search engine does, according to the company.
Ask.com will begin rolling out these new offerings at the start of the NASCAR season in February and will continue introducing new search product features throughout the 2009 racing season.
"NASCAR, as well as our teams, tracks, and drivers, will all benefit from the innovative search technology Ask brings to the sport. The biggest winners will be NASCAR fans, now able to get the answers they want about the sport they love at the speed of NASCAR," said Brian France, NASCAR chairman and CEO. "We welcome Ask.com to the NASCAR family and look forward to their technology reaching every facet of our sport."
Ask.com’s agreement with Hall of Fame Racing will make Ask the primary sponsor of the No. 96 Ask Ford in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, the sport’s premier level, giving the brand a frequent presence in front of NASCAR’s massive at-track crowds and broadcast audiences. According to NASCAR, 17 of the 20 highest-attended sporting events in 2008 were NASCAR races, and NASCAR is the second highest-rated regular season sport on TV. Former NASCAR Cup Series champion Bobby Labonte will pilot the car in 2009, beginning with the DAYTONA 500 in February.
Ask.com is also in discussions with NASCAR-sanctioned track operators and media rights holders to identify strategic opportunities that will allow the brand to reach the sport’s 75 million fans through on- and off-line channels during the 2009 NASCAR season, including at-track displays and in-arena media.