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February 13, 2009 11:37 AM

Roush Fenway Racing Reacts to Recessionary Challenges

Daytona Beach, Fla. (February 13, 2009) – Roush Fenway Racing laid out today its plan to increase the number of sponsor partners in its marketing portfolio.

“Our sponsors are universally indicating their strong desire to preserve their marketing presence with the NASCAR fan base,” said Geoff Smith, president of Roush Fenway Racing. “At the same time they are telling us that recessionary-driven budgetary pressures have or will force reductions in their investment now or in the near future. We see this as the common dynamic that will be present for most teams and sponsors this year. The solution for everyone is clear: the portfolio of current sponsors needs to be maintained while the number of new sponsors needs to increase significantly. That conclusion is what is triggering Roush Fenway’s biggest shift in sponsorship marketing strategy in my 20 years in the sport.”

Robin Johnson, executive vice president of business development for Roush Fenway Racing outlined the specific marketing action plan.

“We have a five-pronged initiative,” said Johnson. “We’ve expanded our current level of internal sales and marketing activities. We’re adding additional value-added benefits into all our sponsorship packages. We’ve retained Fenway Sports Group to provide additional sales representation. FSG is also facilitating increased access to the Boston Red Sox community for our sponsors. And, importantly, we’ve secured commitments from our current sponsor partners to provide additional value added assistance to partners that join their particular programs.”

“Historically, primary sponsors that control the sponsorship rights to a top-rated team and driver are reluctant to share their rights in a significant way,” added Smith. “The paradigm shift we’re seeing now is that our current sponsors are not only allowing us to open up their team/driver inventory to new partners, but they are also providing additional marketing support for those new sponsors. This means that new sponsors can have access to the sport’s premier sponsorship base with 3M, Aflac, Diageo and DEWALT as well as access to the top performers in the sport, Greg Biffle, Carl Edwards, Matt Kenseth and Jamie McMurray. Before the recession, this caliber of opportunity was almost always off the market before a sponsor new to the sport could have an opportunity to bid for the rights. It’s challenging right now, but the opportunities have never been better for new sponsors.”

About Roush Fenway Racing

Roush Fenway Racing is NASCAR’s largest team operating nine motorsports teams.  Five in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with drivers Matt Kenseth, Jamie McMurray, Greg Biffle, Carl Edwards and David Ragan; three in the Nationwide Series with Kenseth, Biffle, Edwards, McMurray, Ragan, Erik Darnell, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. and Colin Braun; and one in the Camping World Truck Series with Braun. 

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