Best Western International has revealed that it has renewed its sponsorship agreement with NASCAR for another three years, extending its role as the sport’s Official Hotel through the 2009 season.
The company will continue to leverage the partnership through a combination of new and existing customized consumer programs and promotions, targeting NASCAR’s 75 million loyal fans. Best Western will also build upon its recent business-to-business successes by developing additional opportunities with other major sponsors.
On January 1, 2004, Best Western entered into a three-year agreement with NASCAR, becoming the sport’s first-ever Official Hotel. Since then, the partnership has generated more attention for the lodging company than any other brand-wide initiative. In 2005, Best Western was honored by the Association of Travel Marketing Executives (ATME) with an Atlas Award, which recognizes innovation in travel marketing. The hotel chain was selected in the “Best Strategic Partnership” category for its sponsorship of NASCAR.
“Two years ago, Best Western assumed a high-profile position within the fastest growing sport in North America,” said Dorothy Dowling, Best Western senior vice president of marketing. “As part of an elite group of NASCAR sponsor companies, we were given access to a large, loyal—and most importantly, mobile—audience. Today, with 2,400 properties and more than 200,000 hotel rooms throughout the U.S. and Canada, we remain committed to making Best Western the home-away-from-home for NASCAR fans, as well as for its partners and racing teams.”
Added Steve Phelps, NASCAR chief marketing officer, “Since becoming an official partner of NASCAR, Best Western has made a significant impact in providing NASCAR fans with unique benefits, supporting a driver and team, promoting the sport, and making the most of NASCAR’s powerful business-to-business platform. We are looking forward to more creative marketing and fan benefits from our valued partner.”
In addition to its sponsorship of NASCAR, Best Western announced late last year that it will also continue its relationship with driver Michael Waltrip, serving as an associate sponsor of the #55 NEXTEL Cup Car presently owned by Waltrip/Jasper Racing. The hotel chain will also continue its associate relationship with Michael Waltrip Racing through 2008. Best Western will serve as primary sponsor of Waltrip’s Busch Series #99 Dodge for the 2006 Bashas’ Supermarkets 200 at Phoenix International Raceway on April 21.
Since assuming its role as the Official Hotel of NASCAR, Best Western has introduced a number of special initiatives, all geared toward providing customers with exclusive new benefits while on the road. In March 2004, Best Western launched Speed Rewards?, a free, frequent guest program designed specifically for race fans. As members, individuals can earn valuable points which are redeemable for NASCAR-licensed merchandise such as jackets and caps—and race-related items such as Proscan headsets and Richard Petty Driving Experience gift certificates. Members can also earn free room nights anywhere in the world, as well as dining and shopping certificates, and are eligible for special sweepstakes and promotional offerings.
Last year, the hotel chain kicked off the season with the launch of its RaceFan Rate, providing special year-round savings to fans at Best Western hotels across North America.