Baltimore GP in trouble? 10 new sponsors announced

UPDATE #2 We are downgrading this rumor to 'false.' In addition to the new sponsors below, the city of Baltimore sent about a dozen people to St. Pete last weekend—they loved it! It’s nice to see an event with such strong city backing and good support internally. The recent changes in management at BGP probably started the rumors.

When the Baltimore Grand Prix (BGP) drivers roar into downtown Baltimore on September 2-4, ten new event sponsors will join thousands of fans at the "Festival of Speed".

Philadelphia-based transportation fuels provider Sunoco will be the official fuel partner and the official pit lane sponsor for the Baltimore Grand Prix. Sunoco will play a key role in keeping the racers of the world class competition in the race as they travel speeds of up to 180 mph throughout the streets of Baltimore.

"As a leading manufacturer of race fuels for more than 40 years, Sunoco is proud to be a part of the Baltimore Grand Prix," said Bob Owens, Sunoco's senior vice president of marketing. "It promises to be a challenging race for the drivers and a thrilling race for the fans. We are pleased that our fuel will power every car on the course."

Chevy Chase, Maryland- based GEICO is one of the nation's leading auto insurers, insuring more than 16 million vehicles and employing 24,000 associates across the country.

Serving as the official airline of the race is Air Tran, a Fortune 1000 airline that has been ranked the number one low cost carrier for the last three years in the Airline Quality Rating study. Air Tran serves first and second tier airports across the country, and is well positioned to bring spectators and race participants to Baltimore for the Grand Prix.

Fans at the BGP will enjoy a wide variety of leading spirits including, Tequila Patron (the presenting sponsor of the American Le Mans Series), Bacardi Rums, Jack Daniels Tennessee Whiskey, Grey Goose Vodkas and Jagermeister.

Other event partners include: Transamerica/AEGON, Greenspring Energy, Enoch Office Products, HVM Racing, Baltimore's Marriott Hotel, Hilton Hotel, Sheraton Hotel, Harbor Court Hotel and Hyatt Hotel.

"Our sponsors are an integral part of this event," said Jay Davidson, president and CEO of the Baltimore Grand Prix. "These companies understand the value of being involved in local communities and supporting events that will generate revenues for the businesses in those areas."

"We are delighted to have this 'Weekend of Speed' come here to Baltimore. Having experienced the season opener in St. Petersburg, Florida, it is obvious that many local businesses will benefit from this fantastic event. We have certainly seen that in the pace of our room bookings," said Arpad Romandy, general manager for the Intercontinental Hotel – Baltimore.

03/31/11 Mark Perrone, the former Milwaukee/Champ Car race promoter was at St. Pete, now working for the Baltimore Grand Prix. He claimed they are super close to a presenting sponsor and have a title sponsor on the hook as well. He said they have sold 40,000 tickets.

03/31/11 Rumors of cash shortages, missed payments, and layoffs for Baltimore Grand Prix persist. Just rumors, but…..

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