Chevron/Texaco Celebrates 20 Years of Racing

Launches gift card promotion

SAN RAMON, Calif. -- With 20 years as a sponsor of stock car racing under its belt, Chevron Products Co. is celebrating both the anniversary and the successful season of its current driver, rookie Juan Pablo Montoya, with the roll out of a limited-time gift card promotion.

The campaign comes on the tail of Chevron's 42 Days of Racing promotion, a race package featuring a grand prize trip to the final six stock car races of the season and a chance to meet Texaco/Havoline driver Montoya.

The 42 Days of Racing promotion was a wonderful [image-nocss] example of sponsors of one team coming together to create a national promotion, Anne Barker, director of motorsports and licensing for Chevron, told CSP Daily News. Very frequently, it's individually or on occasion you have one or two sponsors get together. But in this case, we have a half dozen sponsors coming together to...create a national sweepstakes.

On the other hand, the limited-edition gift cardonly 100,000 will be soldis an opportunity for Chevron to promote its brands.

The special edition No. 42 Texaco/Havoline gift card commemorates a thrilling 20th season for Texaco in stock car racing and the performance of new driver Juan Pablo Montoya following his victory in Sonoma, said Danny Roden, vice president of North America marketing for Chevron. Our prepaid gift cards have been a popular feature at Chevron and Texaco retail locations since we introduced them to consumers two years ago and these limited-edition gift cards are sure to be a fan favorite as the excitement surrounding the race for the [Nextel] Cup intensifies.

The Texaco/Havoline gift cards are available in denominations up to $100 and are accepted at all Texaco and Chevron stations. Designed to help build customer loyalty and offer a convenient payment method, the electronic gift cards enable consumers to pay in advance for future purchases of Chevron and Texaco products.

Consumers can use the gift cards to purchase gas, snacks and services at the gas pump or inside retail stores at both Chevron and Texaco stations, but Barker acknowledges that the lure of the cards will likely surpass Chevron's products.

NASCAR fans are so into things that are collectable and memorabilia, she said. Every day I get requests [for memorabilia]. And it's not just Latin America. It's people from India, Russia, New Zealand, Singapore. I think this will be something that people don't just buy as a general gift card. This will become very big in the motor-sport collectible market as well.

Through its long-term sponsorship of motorsports, Texaco/Havoline Racing has conducted product testing in one of the most demanding of laboratorieshigh-speed automobiles performing on the tracks and roads of the international racing circuit, the company said. Such commitment is aimed at maintaining the excellence of Texaco/Havoline products and building customer loyalty among the millions of racing fans in the United States and around the world.

Of course, the sponsorship also benefits the No. 42 racing team of Ganassi Racing via its financial support, but team owner Chip Ganassi said there's a lot more to choosing a sponsor than looking at the bottom line.

We all have values in our [racing teams], and if they align [with a potential sponsor's values], we can have a partnership, and we can be an extension of your brand or you're an extension of our brand, he told CSP Daily News. Today, [racing] is much more of a business-to-business [transaction]. It's an extension of your brand, your values and your company.

For Ganassi, who has been involved in racing for 25 years, his team's values come down to P.I.I.P. It's performance, innovation, integrity and partnership. Those are the values that we as a company hold dear to us, he said. We want to be the most professional team in sports while winning races. Our two goals are to win races and give a return to our partners.

So far Rookie driver Montoya has made good on those goals, winning the Toyota/Save Mart 350 in June.

Such victories are exciting for a sponsor. We've had reason to celebrate because of Juan Pablo Montoya, Barker said. The media coverage in the United States and globally has been tremendous, and being a global brand, that has really given a face to the products and services of the brands. A win elevates that.

And it's also quite a feat for a driver who previously had dedicate himself to open-wheel racing and just made the movethe first driver ever to do soto NASCAR last year.

[A good sponsor] is important when you're driving a car like this, Montoya told CSP Daily News. It's a big deal for me.

So why did he make that move into NASCAR, a move that is being credited with luring Hispanic audiences to the sport? I wanted a change, and I looked at NASCAR, he said. I thought it was a good idea at the time and we just did it. It's been great so far.

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