Turner to Host Daytona 500 TV Ads Online

After the Super Bowl, the next-biggest sporting event in the U.S. may be the Daytona 500, the kick-off to the 9-month NASCAR stock car racing season. Turner Sports is looking to take advantage of the event’s popularity by launching a Daytona 500 ad gallery at NASCAR.com.

“Often billed as the ‘Super Bowl of NASCAR,’ the Daytona 500 is easily motorsports’ biggest event. Consumers have come to expect innovative and exciting ads during the airing of these events and we are pleased to be able to offer this content in a fun way to our viewers,” said Scott Bailey, VP and general manager of NASCAR.com.

The day-long event, televised on NBC this year, drew almost 19 million viewers to Fox last year, when advertisers spent about $35 million on TV spots during the race, according to TNS Media Intelligence. In comparison, TV ad spending on the 2005 Super Bowl reached $160 million, and ads for the 2005 Oscars pulled in $72 million.

NASCAR.com’s strategy is similar to that of Time Warner sibling AOL, which created a Super Bowl ad gallery that generated more than 42 million video streams, according to AOL.

“Because racing is such a sponsor-driven sport, advertisers recognize that and use it to their advantage by creating new campaigns for Daytona,” Chris Gholston, a NASCAR.com spokesman, told ClickZ News. “A lot of team sponsors are doing something special for Daytona.”

Advertisers in the Commercial Showcase will include Budweiser, Chevy, Pepsi, NASCAR, NASCAR.COM, Coca-Cola, Goody’s, Sears, Home Depot, and Ford.

Viewers are beginning to turn online for information, especially immediately following a race, according to Bailey. To capitalize on that audience, NASCAR.com has launched a post-race Webcast, sponsored by Jack Daniels, which will air after each of the season’s 36 Nextel Cup races. The show lets viewers call, email, or IM questions, read updated news and results or watch race highlights. The show launched late last season.

“After realizing that some of our biggest spikes in site traffic were immediately following the race, we, along with Jack Daniels, launched the call-in show and are absolutely pleased with last season’s success,” Bailey said.

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