NASCAR and Clarkson announce unprecedented partnership

LOS ANGELES, Calif. – In a landmark collaboration bringing together two touchstones of American culture, superstar singer Kelly Clarkson has partnered with NASCAR for the 2007 season.

With the deal, the largest and most comprehensive NASCAR has ever forged with an artist, the multi-platinum, Grammy-winning Clarkson will be integrated into all aspects of NASCAR, including an at-track concert, TV spot, charitable endeavors and the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Awards Ceremony.

The relationship will kick off on Sunday, Feb. 18 prior to the Daytona 500, where Clarkson will headline the Nextel Tribute To America live on FOX. The event salutes music as the fabric of America and will feature thousands of cast members on the Daytona International Speedway’s historic five-acre tri-oval area.

During her appearance at Daytona, Clarkson will film a 30-second “NASCAR. How bad have you got it?" television spot that will combine footage of her Daytona 500 performance with actual race footage. Airing throughout the 2007 season on FOX, TNT, ABC, ESPN and SPEED, the spot will also feature a new song from Clarkson's hugely-anticipated third album, due mid-year.

“Anyone who knows me knows I’m a race fan and love NASCAR," said Clarkson. “It’s been cool doing things with NASCAR in the past and I’m honored to have the opportunity to play such a huge role for the sport in 2007. I look forward to hanging out with the fans, drivers and the entire NASCAR community.

"Clarkson’s latest album, Breakaway, earned two Grammys, spawned five #1 singles and sold over 10 million records worldwide and over 6 million in the U.S. Thanks to instant classics like "Since U Been Gone," "Behind These Hazel Eyes" and "Because Of You," the Texas native's music has become a staple of pop radio over the past five years, and in December, Clarkson was declared the most successful artist in Top-40 history, with at least one single on the chart for 111 consecutive weeks.

NASCAR has developed advertising and at-track campaigns with artists including Red Hot Chili Peppers, Jewel, Lenny Kravitz, Leann Rimes and Sheryl Crow. The deal with Clarkson, however, is the culmination of a symbiotic model in which artists utilize the second most- watched sport in America as a marketing and promotional vehicle, while NASCAR attracts new fans by connecting with the artist’s base.

“NASCAR’s relationship with Kelly Clarkson will be unique not only due to the depth of her involvement in the sport all season long, but her enthusiasm for NASCAR as a fan of NASCAR will surely develop into an unparalleled relationship," said Sarah Nettinga, managing director, film, television and entertainment, NASCAR Digital Entertainment.

“We’re delighted to have one of the most popular singers in the world entertain the race fans in attendance as well as the live television audience on FOX," Daytona International Speedway President Robin Braig said. “NASCAR’s most prestigious event will get off to a roaring start with this unforgettable pre-race show that’s fitting for the biggest, richest and most-watched motorsports event in America."

As part of the deal, Clarkson will also serve as spokesperson and ambassador for the fourth annual NASCAR Day on May 18, 2007. NASCAR Day is a one-day celebration of the NASCAR spirit that gives fans across the country a chance to show their support for the sport they love and help worthwhile causes. As part of her role as official spokesperson, Clarkson will appear in an ad campaign promoting NASCAR Day for The NASCAR Foundation. The ad will premiere during the 2007 Daytona 500.

Finally, Clarkson is scheduled to perform at the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series’ 27th annual Champion’s Awards Ceremony in New York City on Nov. 30, 2007. The awards ceremony honors the top drivers of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series season and officially crowns the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Champion. The event will be broadcast live on ESPN.

For the past three years, the Nextel Tribute to America featured a who’s who list of entertainers including the rock band Bon Jovi, country music superstar Clint Black, Beach Boys legend Brian Wilson, Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter John Ondrasik and his band Five For Fighting, singer/actress Vanessa Williams, singer Lee Greenwood, singer LeAnn Rimes and the Bethune-Cookman College Marching Wildcats.

Tickets for the Daytona 500 as well as other Speedweeks 2007 events are available online at or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP

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