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Mars, Inc. will be honored with the 2012 NASCAR Marketing Achievement Award at the NASCAR NMPA Myers Brothers Awards, held at Encore at Wynn Las Vegas on Thursday, Nov. 29. Throughout its 23-year partnership, Mars has engaged race fans, customers and associates through an integrated marketing strategy that spans multiple activations, including intellectual property, promotions, public relations, B2B, online, broadcast, event marketing and retail. The partnership represents one of the longest standing within the sport.
“Mars’ execution of a fully integrated strategy within NASCAR exemplifies the spirit of the award and has been the catalyst to the brand’s success in the sport,” said Jim O'Connell, chief sales officer for NASCAR. O’Connell added that Mars has “[raised] the bar with innovative ideas designed to engage our brand loyal fan base, its associates and ultimately move product off the shelf.”
In 2012, Mars executed several integrated marketing initiatives designed to reach its three key stakeholders – customers, consumers and associates – in an effort to extend beyond M&M’s paint scheme. The initiatives include:
- Conducted consumer-centric promotions like the current “M&M's When We Win, You Could Win Sweepstakes”
- Pioneered the now popular TV panel program which places the logo of key retailers on the rear “TV panel” of the No. 18 M&M’s Toyota
- Launched the “Best Seats in the House” program, providing fans with a seat upgrade at select tracks in the series
- Engaged associates with dedicated NASCAR ambassadors to celebrate the No. 18 M&M’s Toyota successes and team news
- Hosted NASCAR Day at Mars Chocolate North America’s headquarters in Hackettstown, N.J., featuring Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) owner Joe Gibbs, Kyle Busch and the No. 18 M&M’s Toyota team
William Clements, VP of sponsorships and sports marketing for Mars Chocolate North America, noted his appreciation of the award, adding that brand loyalty is the focal point of the sponsorship's model, and that Mars’ “successes have been led by innovation that extends to customers, consumers and associates, and capitalizes on NASCAR’s broad fan base,” Clements added.
Each year, NASCAR recognizes an industry partner who has exemplified the spirit of NASCAR through integrated marketing campaigns. Previous winners of the award include Anheuser-Busch, Coca-Cola, ESPN, FOX/TNT/NBC, Gillette, Kmart, Nationwide Insurance, Office Depot, Sprint, The Home Depot and Toyota.