CHARLOTTE, NC: NASCAR is searching for a city to host its Hall of Fame. And the six regions vying for the honor have begun local media and community outreach to drum up support for their campaigns.
Among the contending sites - Atlanta; Daytona, FL; Michigan; Richmond, VA; Charlotte, NC; and Kansas City, KS - at least half have hired PR agencies to help with the bids, which are due on May 31.
The Charlotte committee is using a number of Interpublic Group agencies, including Gotham, Jack Morton, and Octagon, to raise local interest, said committee volunteer Jan Boylston, Bank of America's SVP of marketing.
The Richmond consortium - with the help of an unnamed firm - has established a website, BringthehalltoRichmond.com, and is distributing 100,000 postcards to area residents and placing petitions in all 75 locations of local convenience store FastMart, said Keith Green, director of PR for the Richmond International Raceway.
The Kansas City contingent is using VML and Kansas City-based PTK Communications for marcomms help, said Jeff Boerger, president of Kansas Speedway.
"We've been fortunate that the community welcomed us with open arms," Boerger said.
Mark Dyer, NASCAR VP for licensing and consumer products, said NASCAR would be monitoring the conversations in the vying communities.
NASCAR is also asking the potential sites to include long-term marketing plans in their bids. "The [Hall of Fame] opening will be easy to promote," Dyer said. "We're concerned about the marketing plans for three to five years down the road.
"We don't want to get into a situation where the Hall of Fame doesn't have full support," he added.