Monday, March 9, 2009

Kobalt Tools 500 at the Atlanta Motor Speedway

About ten days ago we were approached by the Atlanta Motor Speedway about doing a peanut farmer appreciation day at the race this past Sunday. Ten days is not a lot of time to put something together like this but I have a magnificent Staff and somehow it was pulled off. I cannot say enough good about Joy Carter who took the lead in putting the event together and making it a total success. That said I appreciate all my staff's efforts in the success of the event.

I also have to commend my board and their families for helping to staff the event which was a monumental task.

We handed out 60,000 souvenir packs of Georgia Peanuts to race fans in attendance.

The reason the AMS offered this opportunity was because they knew farmers were struggling with the current Salmonella outbreak and recall of peanut products processed by the Peanut Corporation of America. Had they not given us pretty much the "keys to the kingdom" we could not have done what we did. They gave us a billboard if we paid production cost. That was a $60,000 value for $2500. They discounted tickets to peanut farmers and their families. A $105 ticket for $30 brought out our farmers, too. I was proud of how tall Georgia's Peanut farmers are standing.

They invited the farmers down to the track for the driver introductions as added recognition.

On Friday before the race Marcie Scott who is the media person for the track took Joy Carter and me around to meet some of the broadcast folks and let us occupy space in the media center. While there Kurt Bush was there doing a question/answer time with the media. As he was leaving I gave him a pack of Georgia Peanuts and told him they would give him what he needed to win the race. Guess what...he won.

Between the billboard, display area and being able to hand out peanut packs at each gate in the grandstands along with the PA announcements and the media mentions on TV and radio This was well over a $100,000 promotion.

Thanks to the guys at the Atlanta Motor Speedway, Ed Clark, the President and General Manager, Ted Austad who was our main logistical contact, Marcie and what she did with the media, and track owner Bruton Smith, a million thanks are in order.

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