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Danica's Presence On The Pole Helps Fox Sell Out Ad Inventory For Daytona 500
Fox Sports on Thursday sold out of its Daytona 500 ad inventory. A network spokesperson in an e-mail wrote, “We definitely experienced an uptick in interest once Danica Patrick won her pole position last week, and that generated enough business to put us over the top this year.”

The network had sold 90% of its inventory as of last week. Fox signed several new advertisers, including Sonic, Peak Antifreeze, TurboTax and Disney, which will promote its movie “Oz the Great and Powerful.” It also experienced strong sales in traditional categories such as automotive, QSRs and soft drinks. All three of NASCAR’s manufacturers -- GM, Ford and Toyota -- plan to advertise. Anheuser-Busch, MillerCoors, Pepsi, Coca-Cola, Dr Pepper, Sprint, AT&T, McDonald’s, KFC and Taco Bell are returning as well.

To get to a sold-out position this week, a Fox spokesperson wrote that the net sold some of its last units to new advertisers and additional spots were bought by companies already committed to the race “who wanted to double down on their investment.”

A number of official NASCAR sponsors are breaking new creative during the race. Sunoco will debut a new “If I Had a Nickel” ad, Coca-Cola will release a spot featuring its Coca-Cola Racing Family of drivers, and Goodyear will show new creative that features NASCAR footage. The Goodyear spot tells how the company makes tires that are “meticulously crafted to help handle speeds up to 200 miles per hour turns” and culminates with the line that “everything (Goodyear) learns making tires for its most demanding customers inspires what we roll into yours.”

The network will use its “double box” advertising system during the beginning and end of the Daytona 500, ensuring that fans can see live race footage in a small box alongside the first commercials. The move expands on the final hour of uninterrupted coverage that Fox offered during last year’s Daytona 500. Fox Sports Senior VP/Advertising Sales Rick Kloiber said, “When you think about the flow of the races, there’s a huge crescendo of excitement that leads to that green flag. By using the double box early we can hold onto some of that momentum rather than going to a traditional break." Fox execs first tested the effect early double box commercials had on its audience during the Cotton Bowl on Jan. 4, and used it again on the "UFC on Fox" broadcast Jan. 26. The net plans to use the double box in early coverage of additional NASCAR races this season. Tripp Mickle, SportsBusiness Daily

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