LOS ANGELES — With its influence and popularity growing stronger everyday, NASCAR is now looking to create a new audience of younger fans.
NASCAR has teamed up with the Cartoon Network to develop the ‘NASCARtoon Racing’ brand, a customized on-air and online campaign sponsored by Kellogg’s. The new brand is designed to engage young fans through the familiarity of their favorite Cartoon Network characters.
NASCAR reports that it currently has 75 million adult fans, equaling approximately one third of the U.S. adult population. According to an ESPN Sports Poll (1999-2002) and Nielsen Media Research (1999-2002), more than one-half (58 percent) of kids 7-11 years old are NASCAR fans. Additionally, the number of 12-17 year olds who watch NASCAR has doubled since 1999. There are currently twice as many 12-17 year olds who watch NASCAR as watch the NBA.
Cartoon Network, run by Turner Broadcasting System, is currently watched in 86.4 million U.S. homes and in 145 countries around the world.
The new ‘NASCARtoon Racing’ debuted yesterday with a national on-air and online promotion and a national sweepstakes. The promotion also includes the ‘NASCARtoon Racing’ Garage game where kids get to design their own Cartoon Network racing car.
Cartoon Network also plans to create a sustained campaign on-air and online called ‘NASCARtoon Racing Presents…’ featuring themes such as the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup, teamwork and competition.
From July 19th through Aug. 1, the Cartoon Network will air 30-second spots introducing ‘NASCARtoon Racing’, promoting the sweepstakes. To enter the national sweepstakes, participants must visit the ‘NASCARtoon Racing’ area within Cartoon Network Web site. Kids will also be able to create and submit an original race car design by playing the ‘NASCARtoon Racing’ Garage game.
The online car designing activity provides artwork and other tools from Cartoon Network shows such as Scooby-Doo, Dexter’s Laboratory and The Powerpuff Girls. At the end of the two weeks, a panel of NASCAR drivers and Cartoon Network producers will select their favorite design. The best car design will be showcased at the conclusion of the promotion in a customized promotional spot on Cartoon Network.
The sweepstakes Grand Prize winner will receive a trip for a family of four to attend a 2005 NASCAR race. Four hundred runners up will receive a die-cast No. 5 Kellogg’s Chevrolet car autographed by NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series driver Terry Labonte.
Following the conclusion of the sweepstakes, the site will be updated to include a photo gallery of the ‘NASCARtoon Racing’ car designs submitted by kids, the ‘NASCARtoon Racing’ Garage game, ‘NASCARtoon Racing Presents…’ content and a link to NASCAR.COM, the official site of NASCAR, produced by Turner Sports Interactive.
The campaign has been designed to carry the ‘NASCARtoon Racing’ brand through the end of the 2004 NASCAR season.
Click here to view the rest of today’s headlines.