Corporate partners help MIS thriveWritten by Duane Ramsey | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Although ticket sales remain the top source of revenue, corporate partnerships and suite rentals are critical for the success of Michigan International Speedway, according to MIS President Roger Curtis.
“It’s not just the revenue. They help promote our brand and racing events. You don’t have to be a race fan to use MIS and NASCAR. There are a lot of opportunities for companies to bring customers and employees here,” Curtis said.
Another race weekend is coming to MIS Aug. 13-15 with the Meijer Pole Day on Friday, CarFax 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race Saturday and CarFax 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday in Brooklyn, Mich.
“Our sports business has been priced so that local and regional companies can afford to come out here and feel comfortable. It’s one of the reasons we designed the suites to be adjustable so they can be customized for multiple business opportunities,” he said.
The new Media Center and Pit Road Suites facility opened this year with 30 suites for corporate partners at MIS. The suites were designed with moveable glass walls so they can be adjusted for holding 15, 30 or 60 persons.
MIS offered flexible pricing options with suite packages that could be tailored to fit the objectives and budgets of individual businesses, said Josh Burgett, director of corporate partnerships at MIS.
“We didn’t have suites with amenities for a great hospitality experience previously at MIS. We wanted to create an extended business environment with year-round opportunities for companies to hold meetings and conferences with full-service catering,” Burgett said.
“We’re working to create relationships with corporate partners all over the region first and then sell suites and tickets for the races,” he said.
MIS has numerous national corporate sponsors including Chevrolet, Coca-Cola, CarFax, Gatorade, Goodyear, Home Depot, Miller Lite, Safety-Kleen, and others.
It has partnerships with local and regional companies, such as Auto Value Bumper-to-Bumper, Citizens Bank, Corrigan Oil Company, MIS Camping.com and Paramount Health Care in Maumee.
“We’ve targeted Toledo as a key market since we have a lot of customers from there who buy tickets for the race. We’re trying to get into the business community there to show how MIS can help them by working together in a beneficial partnership,” said Burgett.
Safety-Kleen uses its corporate sponsorship at MIS as part of the company’s marketing program to entertain customers during race weeks, according to Drew Patey, director of motor sports at Safety-Kleen.
The environmental services company collects and recycles all fluids from recycling stations it provides at MIS and 65 other racetracks across the country. The used oil is recycled at its refinery outside Chicago and reused by the U.S. government, said Patey.
Safety-Kleen has a branch in Toledo that services Chrysler’s Jeep plant, auto dealers and repair shops in northern Ohio, Indiana and southeast Michigan.
Auto Value Bumper-to-Bumper is the official parts store and a corporate sponsor of MIS. Its parent company, Auto-Wares, represents a group of companies in the auto parts aftermarket business based in Grand Rapids, Mich.
The companies operate 4,500 auto parts and service stores in the U.S. and Canada, including five Advantage Auto Stores in the Toledo area, and service local auto repair shops.
“MIS is one of the best companies when it comes to taking care of their customers and corporate partners,” said Andy Winnie, president of MIS Camping.com, who got involved at MIS in 2004.
MIS Camping is located right at the speedway offering RV rentals and campsites to about 150 customers on race weekends, said Winnie.
“Customers like hassle-free camping with an RV ready, set-up and waiting for them. Our goal is to make sure they have such a good time they want to come back year after rear.”
Winnie said they have a lot of customers from Toledo with Ohio and Canada being the top two locations from where their customers come to MIS.