The roar of engines―and ring of cash registers―returns to Daytona International Speedway with the July 5 running of the Coke Zero 400. And as the economy sputters up to speed, NASCAR’s revenues may also be revving up.
Shortly after this past February’s Daytona 500, International Speedway Corp. (ISC), parent company of Daytona International Speedway and a dozen other racetracks, reported a 3.6 percent first-quarter sales increase. The growth was largely attributed to higher attendance and increased food revenue from the 500.
Second quarter results also exceeded ISC’s expectations, despite a double-digit earnings hit for costs connected to the $400-million Daytona Rising project. It continues to take shape along the Speedway’s front stretch, with 50,000 more seats now ready.
The project will eventually improve more than 100,000 seats, add over 60 luxury suites, triple the number of concession stands and double the number of restrooms. Once the dust settles, Daytona Rising will have generated more than 6,300 new construction-related jobs, $300 million in labor income and $85 million in tax revenue.
Upon completion prior to next years’ 500, Daytona Rising’s premium amenities and attractions will transform the facility into the world’s first motorsports stadium. This is expected to drive greater attendance and higher food sales figures.
Those enjoying the redevelopment will also see a lot of Chevrolets, and not just on the racetrack. The manufacturer just inked a multi-year partnership with Daytona Rising for more than 20,000 square feet in which to display new cars, plus four concourse levels for engaging fans in an interactive automotive experience.
Chevrolet will also serve as an official partner of next February’s Daytona 500. The marque has scored 23 wins in the event’s 56-year history.
In a prepared statement, ISC CEO Lesa France Kennedy acknowledged the auto manufacturer’s close ties to both the Speedway and NASCAR. “Chevrolet has been an integral part of the ISC family for many years, and we look forward to continuing our strong relationship.”
Chevrolet also receives branding rights for a large portion along the stadium’s front stretch that will include retail, dining and dozens of video screens.
Just a day prior to Chevy’s announcement, Daytona International Speedway introduced Fifth Third Bank as its official bank. The deal also makes Fifth Third an official partner of Sunday’s Coke Zero 400 and next year’s Daytona 500.
Fifth Third CEO (North Florida) Brian Lamb said a motorsports strategy is a natural fit for the bank. “We’ve done a tremendous amount of work with dealerships and automobile manufacturers for over 100 years.”
Financial terms for both the Chevrolet and Fifth Third Bank announcements were not disclosed.
If, as expected, Daytona Rising continues to drive increases to Speedway attendance, revenue and sponsorships, its name may be more and more of a self-fulfilling prophecy. And the sky is the limit.