Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach Promotions LONG BEACH, Calif. -- Record crowds for the "Fast Friday," April 13 opening day of the 33rd Annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach weekend were due in great measure to a wide variety of ticket discounts and prize contest opportunities offered by event sponsors.
"Our Friday attendance eclipsed any other Friday in our history by a considerable margin," said Jim Michaelian, president and CEO of the Grand Prix Association of Long Beach. "And, it can be directly attributed to our outstanding family of sponsors, who mounted a very aggressive promotional campaign throughout the Southern California market."
Presenting sponsor Toyota led the way, with its dealers offering two Friday and two Saturday tickets as part of their $69.99 Parts/Service Special. In addition, Toyota provided a Toyota Tundra truck as a sweepstakes Grand Prize in a contest conducted with Coca-Cola, ampm convenience stores and Power 106 Radio (105.9 FM).
Coca-Cola also teamed with ampm and Ralph's supermarkets to offer free Friday ticket vouchers with the purchase of a designated Coca-Cola product.
"The ampm program was our most successful Friday ticket promotion in the past several years," said David J. Carey, Sales Center Manager/Carson Sales Center, Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Southern California.
"As a result of the promotion, Coca-Cola was awarded a 'Best Practice Award' from ampm for the value provided to ampm race fans and consumers through the program."
First-time sponsor Verizon featured downloadable and printable free Friday general admission passes on its web site, www.verizon.com/freefriday. And, race fans helped determine the winner of the EZ Lube Team Drift Challenge on race weekend by using their cell phones to text-message -- courtesy of Verizon -- their choice of the winner.
EZ Lube also offered two free Friday ticket vouchers to fans visiting any of the 79 EZ Lube locations in Southern California for a Full Service Oil Change.
Seventy-five Bridgestone/Firestone Complete Auto Care outlets throughout the Southland offered two free Friday tickets with any purchase of $15 or more.
Salonpas and KABC.com offered vouchers for a pair of free Friday tickets, along with the opportunity to win two Saturday grandstand seats and a pace car ride. Salonpas also teamed with radio station "Que Buena" (105.5 FM) in a contest that combined free Friday tickets with the opportunity to win grandstand seats and passes to the Ocean Club, one of the race's more popular hospitality areas, on Sunday, April 15.
Tecate displays at more than 1,200 retail outlets in Southern California highlighted a $25 savings on the purchase of a three-day general admission ticket to the race.
Thousands of Long Beach Press-Telegram readers took advantage of the newspaper's free Friday ticket offer, as did many customers of Imperial Capital Bank, Canon Office Solutions and Red Bull.
And SMG, the official race concessionaire, provided free Friday vouchers to all attendees at Long Beach Ice Dogs hockey games at the Long Beach Arena prior to race weekend.
In addition free Friday ticket vouchers were available at 16 Southern California King Taco locations, Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. restaurants and the Mai Tai Bar, located at The Pike in Rainbow Harbor in downtown Long Beach.
More than 180,000 people attended the three-day event on the streets of downtown Long Beach. The 34th Annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach is scheduled for April 18-20, 2008.
Complete race information and season-long racing series results are available at www.longbeachgp.com.