NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France and Camping World Chairman and CEO Marcus Lemonis announced Thursday that Camping World will become the title sponsor of what is now known as the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series beginning in 2009.
The seven-year agreement gives Camping World the exclusive rights to sponsor the series, which features 25 points events at 23 tracks across North America. All NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races will be broadcast live on SPEED or FOX, which will result in over $100 million worth of exposure for the new title sponsor.
"Camping World has a unique connection to the sport and to the NASCAR fans," said NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France. "Camping and tailgating is an essential part of the NASCAR race experience. Thousands of RVs pack the campgrounds at every NASCAR event, often for three or four days at a time. This makes Camping World the perfect match for the NASCAR Truck Series."
'Camping World has a strong affinity with NASCAR fans and we're thrilled to be the primary sponsor in NASCAR's Truck Series,' said Camping World Chairman and CEO Marcus Lemonis. "With the state of the current economy, Camping World's main objective is to communicate our brand in the most cost-effective manner and to promote affordable, family fun. Additionally, we feel strongly that this sponsorship will dramatically increase our customer base in experiencing our entire product offering. We expect this relationship to not only benefit the teams and fans, but we will put a special emphasis on supporting the four auto manufacturers in selling more trucks and the Truck Series sponsors to yield the same return on investment that we've enjoyed. Camping World will work diligently to promote the four manufacturers and team sponsors by positioning them as preferred product providers to the four million RV enthusiasts we currently serve," said Lemonis.
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will launch its inaugural season Feb. 13, 2009 at Daytona International Speedway.
Camping World currently sponsors NASCAR's Camping World East and West Series, two regional touring series, as well as NASCAR Nationwide and Craftsman Truck Series teams for Richard Childress Racing and Kevin Harvick Inc. It also was title sponsor of several NASCAR races this season, including Chase for the Sprint Cup events at Dover International Speedway and Kansas Speedway.
Camping World is a privately held company that opened its first store in 1966 in Bowling Green, Ky. The company markets itself as the only national retailer of Recreational Vehicle (RV) products and services. Camping World operates 30 retail locations across the country, and also does business via its catalog and web site.
According to company data, Camping World serves more 5 million visitors at its retail locations and markets its products through more than 22 million mail-order catalogs and flyers.
Craftsman, an affiliate of Sears Roebuck & Co., has been the sponsor of the Truck Series since its inception in 1995. But earlier this year, Craftsman announced that it would be returning after its current contract expires at the end of the year.
"I can't say enough about the commitment and leadership that Craftsman has provided for the Truck Series over the past 13 years. We thank Craftsman for all it's done with the series and the fans," said France.
SPEED broadcasts Truck Series races and will continue to do so under the Camping World banner.
"SPEED has always been fired up about our partnership with NASCAR, the Truck Series and all the great support Craftsman has provided us throughout the years," said Hunter Nickell, SPEED President. "With the increased ratings we've seen throughout 2008, it's apparent the Truck Series continues its upward trend. The series is built on some of the grittiest, most smash-mouth and competitive racing out there today. It makes for great television every week on SPEED. And now with Camping World on board, I think the Truck Series is perfectly positioned for even further growth in the future."
Last weekend's NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race from Martinsville (Va.) scored an average Nielsen Household Rating of .77 (562,000 households), a five-percent increase over last year's .73 and the 13th time in the last 15 races that NCTS ratings have seen an increase on SPEED.
With the most competitive championship point's race in any of NASCAR's three national touring series, the next NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race on SPEED is Saturday; live form the Atlanta Motor Speedway, beginning with NCTS Setup at 1 p.m. ET.
SPEED is the nation's first and foremost cable television network dedicated to motor sports and the passion for everything automotive. From racing to restoration, motorcycles to movies, SPEED delivers quality programming from the track to the garage. Now available in more than 78 million homes in North America, SPEED is among the fastest-growing sports cable networks in the country and, the home to NASCAR on SPEED and an industry leader in interactive TV, video on demand, mobile initiatives and broadband services. For more information, please visit SPEEDtv.com, the online motor sports authority.
Tom Jensen is the Senior NASCAR Editor for SPEEDtv.com, the former Executive Editor of NASCAR Scene and a contributing Editor for TruckSeries.com. He is the author of "Cheating: The Bad Things Good NASCAR Nextel Cup Racers Do In Pursuit of SPEED," and has appeared on television and radio shows to discuss NASCAR racing. Jensen is the President of the National Motorsports Press Association. Jensen is the 1997 National Motorsports Press Association Writer of the Year and has won numerous national and state awards for news reporting, columns and feature writing.