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Sony Sponsors NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series?Sony HD 500? kicks off Labor Day Weekend at California Speedway (September 01, 2005)
Bolstering its leadership role in high-definition television, Sony Electronics announced it has become the Official Consumer Electronics Partner of the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR).
Sony Electronics also inked a deal to become the title sponsor of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series 500-mile Labor Day event for September 2005 and 2006. Titled "The Sony HD 500," this year's racing event takes place Sunday, Sept. 4 at the California Speedway in Fontana, Calif. (NBC, 5 pm PST).
"Our relationship with NASCAR and the International Speedway Corporation is a reflection of a passion for racing shared by Sony and our customers," said Mike Fasulo, chief marketing officer for Sony Electronics. "HDTV is the driving force and centerpiece of the digital living room. From content creation and production to the ultimate consumer shooting, editing and viewing experience, Sony is in a unique position to bring top-quality, high-definition entertainment to NASCAR fans."
Sony will not only reward the winner of the SONY HD 500 with the latest BRAVIA XBR LCD HDTV, but also brings all of the HD action home to racing fans through a broadcast partnership with NBC, which is broadcasting the race and the remaining NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series events in high-definition.
"NASCAR is pleased to add Sony to our family of official partners who are generating business results in connecting with the 75 million brand-loyal fans," said Steve Phelps, vice president of corporate marketing for NASCAR. "NASCAR is excited our broadcast partners are televising all NASCAR races in HD. The addition of Sony, the leader in home entertainment and HD technology, to our roster of sponsors is exciting and clearly emphasizes the growing importance of HDTV to our sport."
Adding to the excitement found at the Labor Day event, Sony will host four "HD Workshop" events at locations around the California Speedway, including one in the center of the infield. The workshops will give fans an opportunity to experience high-definition television and audio products first-hand, while learning more about the technology. In conjunction with the workshops, which will also be held a various locations throughout the country, Sony recently launched an informational web site about HD technology at www.sony.com/HDTV.
"With more than 60 percent of U.S. households expected to have high definition television sets this year, the need for education is clear," said Sony Promotions Manager Rich Black. "Our efforts at the speedway complement our consumer education platform."
Sony also announced that its association with Penske Racing South, its contract with driver Ryan Newman and its official sponsorship of Penske Racing South's NASCAR Nextel Cup Series No. 12 Alltel/Sony Dodge car has been extended. For the Labor Day weekend event, Sony will be the primary sponsor for the No. 12 SONY HDTV Dodge.
"We only get one shot a year to run the Sony HDTV scheme on our car, so we definitely want to put on a good show," Newman said. "I guess there's a little more pressure this year since the race is the Sony HD 500 and we're in Sony's back yard in southern California. We won with the Sony scheme in 2003 at Dover; I imagine if we win this weekend it'll be quite a scene in victory lane."
The "Sony Tech Box," Penske Racing South's race day pit cart for its NASCAR teams, is fully stocked with an array of Sony professional and consumer electronics. The state-of-the-art pit cart is designed to enhance the team's pit performances on race day, and serve as an entertainment center for trackside guests by offering coverage on Sony LCD high-definition televisions.
Also equipped with Sony's family of high-definition products is the Penske Racing South team hauler, which includes a high-tech Sony lounge for crew to enjoy on the road.
The NASCAR relationship is not a first for Sony in the sports realm. Sony is also sponsoring the "Sony HD Classic" football game between UCLA and SDSU on Sept. 3 at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego. The company was the exclusive advertising sponsor of NBC's high definition broadcast of the 2004 Summer Olympic Games and worked with CBS for professional football high-definition broadcasts. Sony televisions also are a focus of attention at Petco Park in San Diego, Yankee Stadium in New York and Heinz Field in Pittsburgh.
On a global scale, the company also hosts the annual Sony Hawaiian Open PGA golf tournament in January and recently announced a multi-year sponsorship agreement with FIFA for a variety of its soccer events around the world, including two World Cup tournaments.
Locally, Sony Electronics' mobile electronics group is supporting RaceLegal, a community organization backed by police and other concerned volunteers in San Diego who want to provide a safe street-racing experience for young drivers. Sony is also the title sponsor of the NHRA Sport Compact Series of races.
The SONY HD 500, which will be televised nationally in high-definition on NBC, will start at 5:10 p.m. PDT, allowing for a finish under the lights. More information is available at www.sonyracing.com and www.sony.com/HDTV.
For further information visit Sony Electronics' web site at www.sony.com.
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