Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Name that Speedway

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 8/11/2009 No comments
Now that it has been officially announced that Lowe's Home Improvement will not renew its track sponsorship of Lowe's Motor Speedway, I feel like I should suggest some companies that should take over the naming rights. Speedway Motorsports Inc., which owns the track, says that if a new sponsor isn't found by the time Lowe's contract ends at the end of the year, the track that hosts three NASCAR races a year will go back to its former name: Charlotte Motor Speedway. That was the track's name for decades before Lowe's purchased naming rights in the late 1990s.

Sure, Charlotte Motor Speedway conjures up nostalgia for longtime racing fans, but I think we need something more exciting. Here are my top-five suggestions for naming rights, assuming that any of them can afford the $6-$9 million annually that's rumored to be asked for in the deal.

5. McCrory Motor Speedway: Since the seven-term Charlotte mayor isn't seeking reelection, this would be a great way to remind people that he was a big projects kind of guy.

4. Lance Crackers Motor Speedway: This Charlotte-based company has been producing tasty snack packs for nearly 100 years. And since the products are affordable, the company continues to do well during a recession--it recently posted record revenue for the second quarter of 2009--so it could afford the naming rights. And it could give away peanut butter crackers at races to spur ticket sales.

3. Wells Fargo Motor Speedway: They nabbed our beloved Wachovia for pennies on the dollar and are already reaping record profits. Time to pay up. Plus, this would be another way to show their commitment to the area (don't worry about the criticism that would likely come from the federal government if the bank spent this kind of money on sponsorship right now).

2. Jordan Brand Motor Speedway: Come on MJ, we know you can afford it. Plus, you could probably find a way to market the first pair of Air Jordan racing sneakers. I know you're getting your money together as you consider buying the Charlotte Bobcats from Bob Johnson, but I think the speedway would be a more lucrative--and less risky--investment.

1. Harris Teeter Motor Speedway: There's one of these grocery stores on just about every major street in Charlotte, so they already have a loyal following (and the company is headquartered in Matthews). I can just see VIC cardholders (annoyingly) waving their key rings at races. And fans from around the country will be able to say they're going to the race this weekend at "The Teet."


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