George brings European car care product to U.S., IndyCar (Update)

UPDATE INDYCAR announced today that SONAX, a leading manufacturer of premium car care products worldwide, has been named its Official Automobile Detail Partner.

SONAX is expanding its motorsports involvement with its INDYCAR partnership. It currently serves as an official team supplier of Red Bull Racing, the championship Formula One organization.

Under the new partnership, SONAX will sponsor the SONAX Perfect Finish Award during the 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series. The SONAX Perfect Finish Award is a contingency prize tied to the series’ three doubleheader event weekends this year at Detroit’s Raceway at Belle Isle Park, Toronto’s Exhibition Place and Houston’s Reliant Park. The SONAX Award will coincide with launch of SONAX’s new Perfect Finish polish.

SONAX will award $50,000 to a driver who wins both feature races during any of the doubleheader weekends. If a driver does not win both races in any weekend, the $50,000 prize will carry over to the next doubleheader weekend. If a driver does not win both Detroit events, the award will jump to $100,000 in Toronto for a driver who wins both races. If no driver captures both features at Toronto, the SONAX Perfect Finish Award will be worth $150,000 at the Houston weekend.

"This partnership with SONAX adds another industry-leading company to INDYCAR’s portfolio of partners," said Greg Gruning, INDYCAR’s executive vice president, corporate business development. "The fact that SONAX chose INDYCAR as the place to expand its motorsports involvement shows the international reach of the IZOD IndyCar Series brand."

In addition to the new INDYCAR partnership, SONAX will activate special retail activities featuring show cars and driver appearances at selected Sam’s Club locations beginning at the Indianapolis 500. Other activation plans include working with selected venues on creating car corrals during race weekends to target automotive enthusiasts and collectors.

"SONAX is very happy to partner with the IZOD IndyCar Series for 2013," said Rob McCrary, managing director for SONAX U.S.A. "INDYCAR’s racing presence brings another avenue to our customer base, while continuing SONAX’s corporate marketing path through motor racing. We are also very excited to sponsor the SONX Perfect Finish award for the 2013 IndyCar season. It is a great opportunity to not only help promote the Double Header weekend races, but also our Perfect Finish Polish, the best one-step car polish in the market today."

The SONAX brand’s history goes back to the beginning of the last century. In Neuburg, Germany, from as early as 1905, the great grandfather of the present owner, extracted siliceous earth – an extremely fine mineral which was used in many domestic polishes. After the war, a silver polish was developed and marketed under the name "Sona." The idea of creating a car polish was born.

SONAX offers a highly competitive and extensive range of products for the cleaning and care of vehicles. SONAX establishes a brand as a manufacturer and supplier of environmentally pro-active and innovative products. Press Release

05/06/13 Former IndyCar Series CEO Tony George recently acquired the rights to bring Sonax, a European car care product, to the U.S., and the company plans to make its first marketing push by sponsoring the IndyCar Series.

The sponsorship deal, which industry sources valued in the low to mid-six figures, makes Sonax the official automobile detail partner of IndyCar. The company will sponsor the Sonax Perfect Finish Award, a new contingency award tied to the series’ three doubleheader event weekends this year. The name of the award is tied to a new automotive detailing product that Sonax is releasing this year.

Sonax has agreed to pay $50,000 to a driver who wins both races held June 1 and June 2 in Detroit. If no driver wins both races, a driver will have a chance to win $100,000 by winning both races in Toronto in July or $150,000 by winning both races in Houston in October.

The company will couple that at-track promotion with activation at Sam’s Club locations in race markets. Those retail promotions will begin around the Indianapolis 500 later this month when Sonax sets up displays and brings show cars to several Sam’s Club stores in the Indianapolis area.

“Cash is important but activation is paramount for our sport," said Greg Gruning, IndyCar’s executive vice president, corporate sales and partner strategy. “Getting Sam’s Club involved and having Sonax launch their Perfect Finish product around the doubleheaders is great."

The IndyCar deal is Sonax’s first major sponsorship. Sonax USA Managing Director Rob McCrary said the company will complement its Sam’s Club displays and Perfect Finish Award promotion with digital advertising and some TV advertising on NBC Sports Network, which the company plans to buy later.

Sonax is working with the Indianapolis-based agency The Heavyweights on its marketing and promotion.

George acquired the exclusive license to sell Sonax in the U.S. in 2010. The brand has a strong history in Europe. It has a 40 percent market share there and was recently voted the best car care brand by the German motor press, McCrary said. Tripp Mickle, Sports Business Daily

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