Bank of America revs up plans for NASCAR
November 27, 2006 7:48pm CST
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- Banking on NASCAR fans' sponsor loyalty to drive more retail business to their ATMs and branches, Charlotte-based Bank of America Corp. has signed a five-year deal as the official bank of the popular racing series. The bank shared details of the agreement with The Associated Press before the public announcement Monday. The multiyear deal greatly expands Bank of America's sponsorship of stock car racing, while also marking a change in how NASCAR lines up sponsors. NASCAR has begun to reduce its sponsor base by consolidating deals and seeking opportunities to cover entire industries in one deal. Bank of America already has an ``official bank'' deal in place with baseball, long known as the national pastime. Now, the nation's No. 2 bank adds a similar deal with a sport widely viewed as the nation's fastest-growing. ``Bank of America certainly has a leg up over any other financial institution, with its national reach,'' said Steve Phelps, NASCAR's chief marketing officer. ``We consider this agreement a significant step for the future growth of our sport.'' A person familiar with the agreement put the overall value of the five-year deal between $15 million and $20 million. ``The big thing is that this deal reaches across all fan groups and adds to what they have,'' said Shawn Bradley, chief operating officer of the market research division at The Bonham Group, a Denver-based sports marketing firm. Under the deal, Bank of America will be NASCAR's exclusive sponsor for banking and related financial services, including checking and savings accounts, credit and debit cards, mutual funds and securities brokerage services. The company gets the right to use the NASCAR logo and name in marketing and advertising promotions through 2011. Some financial services are excluded from the deal -- NASCAR will continue existing relationships with partners in the areas of insurance, tax preparation, gift cards and payment networks.