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DATE News (chronologically)
02/15/08
nascar
NASCAR Fans Less Likely To Channel Surf
At Least 25 Drivers to Appear in New Sponsor TV Ads, Keeping Fans Tuned to FOX.  Unlike the biggest events in other sports, during the Daytona 500 (Feb 17, FOX, 2 p.m.) the sport's athletes appear in virtually every commercial break, keeping viewers tuned in.

During the FOX broadcast of the 2007 Daytona 500, NASCAR drivers appeared in 46 percent of the commercials, according to. Dr. Max Utsler, a professor at the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Kansas. In all, 19 drivers starred in sponsor spots, and with at least 25 slated to be featured during the 2008 race, the percentage of drivers in commercials may rise even higher, Utsler said.

"NASCAR fans like seeing the stars of the sport in sponsors' commercials – making the sport TiVo-proof," said NASCAR Chief Marketing Officer Steve Phelps.

During the 2007 Daytona 500, FOX Sports retained 95% of its audience during commercial breaks on average, according to Nielsen Media Research.

NASCAR drivers rank No. 2 behind PGA players as the best role models among athletes, according to a study published in Brandweek magazine.

Nearly all NASCAR fans see drivers as real athletes and good role models. Most fans think NASCAR drivers are accessible and use the products they endorse, according to an independent study from James Madison University Center for Sports Sponsorship:

85% of NASCAR fans agree that NASCAR drivers are good role models
74% of NASCAR fans agree that NASCAR drivers are accessible to fans
56% of NASCAR fans agree that NASCAR drivers use the products they endorse
NASCAR and NASCAR drivers are highly associated with attributes such as: “Athletes I admire,” “Athletes who are regular people," “Down to earth," “Genuine," “Honorable,” and “Straight up and honest,” according to research firm Ipsos Insight.

The new sponsor commercials will be available for fans to preview on a special Daytona 500 Ad Showcase on www.NASCAR.COM. Fans will be able to view and vote for their favorite commercials.

NASCAR official partners airing new campaigns on the Daytona 500 telecast include: Chevrolet, Gillette, Goodyear, Ritz, Sunoco, Sprint, The Home Depot, Toyota and UPS. Additionally, many team sponsors will debut new spots featuring high-profile drivers such as Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jimmie Johnson and Kasey Kahne.

Additionally, many team sponsors will debut new spots featuring high-profile drivers such as Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jimmie Johnson, Kasey Kahne, Kevin Harvick, Kurt Busch, Clint Bowyer, Ryan Newman and Martin Truex Jr.

50th Running of the Daytona 500 Fast Facts
What: 50th Running of the Daytona 500
Where: Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach, Fla.
When: 1 p.m. (ET), Sunday, Feb. 17
Field: 43 cars
Track Layout: 2.5-mile high-banked tri-oval
Race Length: 200 laps/500 miles
Purse: $18,689,238
Network: FOX
Radio: Motor Racing Network (MRN), SIRIUS Satellite Radio
On the Web: NASCAR.com
Get a Driver's View: NASCAR HotPass on DirecTV
Defending Champion: Kevin Harvick
Notable Past Champions: Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Richard Petty, Darrell Waltrip, Mario Andretti, A.J. Foyt and Dale Earnhardt

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