Oakland, California – (The Hosting News) – January 15, 2009 – Search engine, Ask.com, and operating business of IAC, has entered into partnerships with The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR), NASCAR.COM, and Hall of Fame Racing.
Under the terms of the partnership with NASCAR, Ask becomes the Official Search Engine of NASCAR, with category exclusivity and a broad set of promotional rights in order to reach the sport’s estimated 75 million loyal fans.
Jim Safka, Chief Executive Officer of Ask.com remarked, ”As part of our strategy to go deeper into the highest-volume categories and provide the best answer, the first time, every time, we want to be the first place fans search online for NASCAR information. Through these partnerships, we will break new ground by applying our semantic search technology capabilities to NASCAR-related content while also tapping one of the largest marketing channels in America. Our goal is to win over the millions of loyal fans by providing them with the best NASCAR search experience on the Web, and introduce them to all of Ask’s capabilities when they come.”
Under the terms of the partnership with NASCAR.COM, Ask will further extend its reach by exclusively powering the search experience on NASCAR.COM, the official online destination of NASCAR. NASCAR.COM also will make available to its users Ask’s exclusive new NASCAR toolbar, which integrates unique content and is designed to provide fans with convenient access to Ask’s leading NASCAR search experience, and NASCAR.COM’s best-of-breed editorial content.
Using its proprietary DADS, DAFS, and AnswerFarm technologies, Ask.com will search NASCAR’s digital assets and structured data, making it instantly available to fans by entering natural-language queries into the Ask.com search box. For example, the query “Who was the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series rookie of the year in 1995?” will return the exact answer, front and center on the first results page — something no other search engine does. Ask.com will begin rolling out these new offerings at the start of the NASCAR season in February and will continue introducing new search product features throughout the 2009 racing season.
Brian France, Chairman and CEO of NASCAR remarked, ”NASCAR, as well as our teams, tracks, and drivers, will all benefit from the innovative search technology Ask brings to the sport. The biggest winners will be NASCAR fans, now able to get the answers they want about the sport they love at the speed of NASCAR. We welcome Ask.com to the NASCAR family and look forward to their technology reaching every facet of our sport.”
Ask.com’s agreement with Hall of Fame Racing will make Ask the primary sponsor of the No. 96 Ask Ford in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, the sport’s premier level, giving the brand a frequent presence in front of NASCAR’s massive at-track crowds and broadcast audiences. According to NASCAR, 17 of the 20 highest-attended sporting events in 2008 were NASCAR races, and NASCAR is the second highest-rated regular season sport on TV. Former NASCAR Cup Series champion Bobby Labonte will pilot the car in 2009, beginning with the DAYTONA 500 in February.
Ask.com is also in discussions with NASCAR-sanctioned track operators and media rights holders to identify strategic opportunities that will allow the brand to reach the sport’s 75 million fans through on- and off-line channels during the 2009 NASCAR season, including at-track displays and in-arena media.
Tom Garfinkel, Owner, Hall of Fame Racing noted, ”Jeff Moorad and I are excited to add Ask.com as a primary sponsor on the No. 96 car. We’ve been working closely with Ask.com for several weeks now, and their talented management team has come up with more creative ideas to serve NASCAR fans than I’ve seen in a long time. With our new Yates partnership and having a true champion and class person in Bobby Labonte behind the wheel, we’re expecting great things on the race track as well.”
Bobby Labonte, Driver of the #96 Ask.com Ford added, ”I’m excited to be part of what Ask.com is bringing to our sport. In a time like this, it’s great to see a sponsor come in with technology and ideas that will help all of the competitors in NASCAR and enhance the experience for all of our fans, no matter which driver or team they cheer for.”
The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, Inc. (NASCAR) is the sanctioning body for one of North America’s premier sports. NASCAR is the No. 1 spectator sport — holding 17 of the top 20 highest attended sporting events in the U.S., and is the No. 2 rated regular-season sport on television. NASCAR races are broadcast in more than 150 countries and in more than 30 languages. NASCAR fans are the most brand loyal in all of sports, and as a result more Fortune 500 companies participate in NASCAR than in any other sport.
Turner Sports acquired all of NASCAR’s interactive rights in October 2000 and became the exclusive producer of NASCAR.COM in January 2001. The official online destination of the NASCAR, the site consistently ranks among the top three sport league sites on the Internet. In 2008 NASCAR.COM was awarded a Global Media Award by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) for RaceBuddy as the outstanding interactive platform of the year. The site has also earned an Emmy for its TrackPass with PitCommand application in 2003.
Turner Sports, Inc., a Time Warner company, presents some of the best and most popular sporting events worldwide and is a leader in televised and online sports programming. With events airing on TBS and TNT, Turner Sports’ line-up includes NASCAR and NASCAR.COM, the NBA, Major League Baseball, professional golf, PGATour.com and PGA.com. Turner Sports also manages NBA Digital, which includes NBA TV, NBA.com, WNBA.com, NBADLeague.com and NBA League Pass.
Yates Racing currently operates three motorsports teams in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Formerly known as Robert Yates Racing, the team is owned by Doug Yates, who took the reins after his father, Robert Yates, retired following the 2007 season. In 2008, Doug partnered with Max Jones; a former road racer and long-time championship General Manager. During Yates Racing’s 21-year tenure in the NASCAR Sprint Cup series, the organization has earned a total of 57 wins, 49 poles, 270 top-five finishes, 433 top-ten finishes, and a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship. In 2009, Hall of Fame Racing has teamed up with Yates Racing to field the No. 96 Ford Fusion in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
Hall of Fame Racing was formed by Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman and ran its first race with the #96 DLP HDTV Chevrolet with driver Terry Labonte in the 2006 Daytona 500, finishing 17th. Jeff Moorad and Tom Garfinkel purchased majority interest of the team in August of 2007, bringing years of successful sports management experience in and out of racing. In 2009, Hall of Fame Racing has teamed up with Yates Racing to field the No. 96 Ford Fusion in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Sponsorship opportunities are available.
Ask.com is an operating business of IAC (Nasdaq:IACI). The Ask Network of sites is the 11th largest Internet property in the world, with more than 160 million worldwide unique monthly users, according to November 2008 comScore data. Ask.com syndicates its search technology and advertising solutions to a network of affiliate partners.
To learn more about Ask.com, please visit: www.ask.com.