Dodge taps two firms for NASCAR return

AUBURN HILLS, MI: Dodge is returning to the NASCAR circuit after a 20-year absence, and parent company DaimlerChrysler has taken the unusual step of asking two of its agencies to collaborate on the PR push.

AUBURN HILLS, MI: Dodge is returning to the NASCAR circuit after a 20-year absence, and parent company DaimlerChrysler has taken the unusual step of asking two of its agencies to collaborate on the PR push.

AUBURN HILLS, MI: Dodge is returning to the NASCAR circuit after a

20-year absence, and parent company DaimlerChrysler has taken the

unusual step of asking two of its agencies to collaborate on the PR

push.



Rather than do what competitors have done - hire an agency strictly for

NASCAR work - the auto giant has asked Golin/Harris (its agency for

corporate PR) and the Cotter Group (a North Carolina agency it employs

for CART circuit PR) to work together. The arrangement, dubbed

DaimlerChrysler Motorsports Communications, should prove both

comprehensive and cost-effective, according to communications chief

Steve Rossi.



’Our challenge here is not to get motor-sports media, who will naturally

write about a major brand returning to the NASCAR circuit,’ Rossi

explained.



’We need to go beyond that.’



Rossi touted the abilities of both firms. Cotter is ’great on the track’

getting coverage from the racing press, but ’they’re never going to get

me to the 35,000-foot level.’ By comparison, Rossi said, Golin has done

good strategic work for the company but is not known for its

motor-sports expertise.



Rossi also cited his familiarity with both firms. Any new agency, he

claimed, would have needed time to get up to speed on DaimlerChrysler,

and Rossi didn’t want the administrative burden of having to manage more

people. ’I don’t need another agency,’ he said.



Rossi wouldn’t discuss budgets for the NASCAR program, but other

automakers routinely spend from dollars 5 million to dollars 10 million

annually in total marketing expenses per car to support their NASCAR

teams. That could translate into a seven-figure PR budget for

DaimlerChrysler.



Rossi anticipates that the two firms will have no problem working

together.



’It’s up to them to work it out. It’s either going to be phenomenal

harmony, or they’re going to murder each other,’ he joked.



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