TRAC looks for PR to defeat NASCAR

GREENVILLE, SC: Team Racing Auto Circuit (TRAC), a new stock-car

racing body that launched last week, is on the hunt for national and

local PR agencies, according to COO John Pritchett.

TRAC currently uses Greenville, SC shop Erwin-Penland Advertising (EP)

for PR, but is considering taking on a national agency prior to its

inaugural season in 2003.

TRAC is also currently taking advice from Hanson Enterprises, Terry

Hanson's sports branding consultancy in Charlotte, NC.

TRAC's new twist on car racing is that drivers will race as teams based

in US cities rather than as corporate concerns. The hope is that fans

will root for their home team. Hence, while a national agency would be

charged with generating overall interest prior to 2003, each team

franchise is also likely to hire a local shop.

TRAC will find itself in direct competition with NASCAR, the country's

most popular motor-racing brand. 'Good racing by itself doesn't always

fill the stands,' warned Chip Williams of Williams Company, a PR firm

that serves several NASCAR drivers. If not done properly, TRAC might

become an XFL-sized flop, he advised.

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