Shell is fully activating their NASCAR sponsorship
Shell is leveraging its relationship with Richard Childress Racing (RCR), Kevin Harvick and the No. 29 Shell-Pennzoil car in an effort to drive traffic and sales at Shell branded service stations in the United States. In the one year since the company’s announcement regarding its re-entry into the sport, Shell has created a multitude of national and local brand-building opportunities for wholesalers and retailers by providing chances for them to become a part of the action.
Through three packaged “off the shelf” promotions, Shell wholesalers and retailers can attract loyal NASCAR fans and generate consumer excitement.
• “Welcome Race Fans” is a point of purchase package for retailers to welcome fans and increase excitement surrounding an upcoming in-market NASCAR race.
• “It’s 29 Time” is a quick hitting three week sales promotion offering customers a medium beverage, snack or No. 29 decal for $0.29.
• “Get Movin’ on Monday” provides consumers with a free medium beverage on Mondays when Kevin Harvick and the No. 29 Shell-Pennzoil car finish in the top 10 in the NEXTEL Cup race.
“We are committed to providing the best platforms for our business partners to build relationships and increase traffic at their sites,” said Karen Wildman, Shell Retail brand and communications manager. “The relevance and power of our sponsorship with RCR provides far-reaching benefits for our brands.”
Shell has also created two market specific sweepstakes called “Crew Chief for a Day” and “$2,900 Gasoline Giveaway.”
• “Crew Chief for a Day” offers Shell customers the chance to win a weekend trip for two to a NEXTEL Cup race including a chance to meet Kevin Harvick, all access passes, VIP seating in the pit box directly behind crew chief, Todd Barrier, hotel and travel, and No. 29 Shell-Pennzoil team apparel. The promotion has been rolled out in two markets, the state of Michigan including Toledo, Ohio and the state of Kansas.
• The grand-prize winner of the “$2,900 Gasoline Giveaway” promotion, which builds awareness of the No. 29 Shell-Pennzoil car, will receive $2,900 in the form of a Shell racing gift card that features the No. 29 Shell-Pennzoil car. New Hampshire was the first market for this promotion and a second market launch will take place in Atlanta this month.
Both sweepstakes can be customized for additional markets based on interest. Wholesalers and retailers should contact their sales representative in order to implement either program.
Licensed merchandise is another key element of activation surrounding the RCR relationship. This year, Harvick has moved up into sixth position for top driver product sales. Overall, across all retail channels, licensed product sales are up 75 percent. At-track merchandise sales are the highest they have been for the No. 29 car in five years, with 2007 sales surpassing last year at all but two tracks to date. At Shell convenience stores, racing merchandise is available in top-selling product categories including apparel, die cast cars, auto accessories and novelties. Hot-market products that take advantage of key wins by the team, such as the Daytona 500, are also available to wholesalers and retailers. Other new products planned through year end will leverage Harvick’s participation in the Chase for the Nextel Cup and a limited edition holiday collectible program. A Harvick stand-up unit with built-in sound and a window sign helps promote in-store merchandise to increase sales. Companies that license NASCAR products also run regular print ads in racing publications promoting products that feature the Shell brand.
A $25 Limited Edition Shell Racing Gift Card, featuring the No. 29 Shell-Pennzoil car is also available at participating Shell locations while supplies last. Additionally, Shell station employees can join the excitement with a new line of racing-themed uniforms including polo shirts and hats featuring the Shell, RCR and No. 29 Kevin Harvick signature logos.
“In-store racing merchandise is a viable way to generate increased revenues for wholesalers and retailers,” said Wildman. “In fact, fans have been stopping at Shell retail stores across the country requesting the No. 29 Shell-Pennzoil special edition crew hats. It’s our most popular item.”
Show Car Program
In order to capture attention and draw-in consumers, wholesalers and retailers can sign-up to have a replica of the No. 29 Shell-Pennzoil racecar prominently displayed on-site. The show car program also includes point of purchase materials to communicate the date and time of the show car appearance. In addition, a life-size inflatable No. 29 Shell-Pennzoil racecar is available for purchase or rental.
Beyond the site level, Shell is leveraging the RCR relationship to build the brand through advertising and broadcast opportunities.
• In April the “Best Damn Sports Show Period” (BDSSP) began using a one-of-a-kind Shell garage as the backdrop for NASCAR news coverage and interviews. BDSSP is Fox Sports Net’s signature program and has more than two million viewers every week. Each segment filmed in the Shell garage, includes the “Stop Gunky Build-Up” message, a call to action to visit a local Shell station and the company’s “Made to Move” tagline. Harvick also appeared on the show in July.
• To further expand the company’s brand recognition in association with the sport, Shell has prominent branding on DIRECTV’s NASCAR HOTPASSTM launch screen for multiple races throughout the 2007 season. Already this year, Harvick has been the featured driver of five races. Harvick’s participation provides increased awareness amongst NASCAR fans of the relationship between RCR, Kevin Harvick and the No. 29 Shell-Pennzoil car.
• Additionally, Shell had an in-car camera offering increased visibility to the No. 29 Shell-Pennzoil car during race broadcast coverage of the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 at Richmond International Raceway on September 8, 2007 and the UAW-Ford 500 at historic Talladega Superspeedway on October 7, 2007. The in-car camera provides viewers with the opportunity to watch the race from the driver’s seat. Only a select number of drivers, at any given race, have an in-car camera providing the ability for broadcasters to show this specific view during race coverage.
Shell has introduced a unique incentive program to encourage Shell wholesalers and retailers to generate credit card applications between now and the end of the year.
• The race is on with the new Shell branded cards incentive contest. Retailers who achieve Shell branded credit card ratios and generate the most Shell Card and Shell MasterCard applications during the third and fourth quarter will have a chance to win grand prizes, reserve prizes and numerous month-end prizes. Grand prizes include a trip to “Witness History in Daytona Beach this February,” three nights at the World Golf Village in St. Augustine, FL and a meet-and-greet with Kevin Harvick. The contest started July 1, 2007 and will continue through November 30, 2007.
If the Shell branded cards incentive contest isn’t enough, try driving around town in the No. 29 Shell-Pennzoil car. As part of a co-op advertising program, Shell will reimburse up to 50 percent of the cost for wholesalers and retailers to have their personal vehicles wrapped to look like Harvick’s No. 29 Shell-Pennzoil race car. The cost of the specially designed replica wraps depend on the make and model of the vehicle. To date the company has wrapped an Impala, minivan and Corvette.
In addition to the car wrap, co-op print ads feature images of Kevin Harvick and the No. 29 Shell-Pennzoil pit crew. In the ads a synergy is drawn between the team’s passion for winning and the Shell brand’s passion to be the best.
“The activation programs we’ve rolled out are very effective and we’re happy wholesalers and retailers are feeling an impact to their business,” said Wildman. “These programs along with the Shell ‘Passionate Experts’ marketing campaign have helped to really tap into the NASCAR fan base and create new customers.”
For more information on these programs wholesalers and retailers can visit www.shellsource.com and select Marketing and Incentives and then Shell Racing.