Chicagoland VP/Sales & Marketing Communications Scott Howard said that track execs decided to institute the promotion about six weeks ago, and did so for three reasons: To localize and capitalize on the buzz around the Daytona 500; to jump-start ticket sales early since many fans often purchase tickets much closer to Chicagoland's race date; and to try to encourage fans to up-spend since they might feel it is worth the gamble given the potential reward.
Part of the impetus, Howard said, stems from Chicagoland selling out of lower-price tickets weeks in advance last year. The track hopes the promotion encourages fans to buy the higher-priced A-I tickets. Chicagoland has insurance on the promotion to cover losses should Earnhardt win the 500, though Howard would not divulge the provider.
The track is projecting an increase in ticket sales in the thousands thanks to the promotion. Chicagoland previously had run a substantial paid media campaign around its Sprint Cup race, the MyAFibStory.com 400. In past years, Chicagoland did not start selling tickets to its race until after the Daytona 500, but last year the track began the sales process the day after its September event. Howard said sales for this year's race are up double digits when compared on a year-over-year basis. Howard added, "Obviously, this is exciting for the fan given that Dale Jr. is the odds-on favorite to win the Daytona 500, so hopefully that encourages a lot of people. It's our goal that he wins. With that would come a lot of additional buzz." Adam Stern/SportsbusinessDaily.com