Playboy Goes Full Speed With Grand American Racing
DAYTONA BEACH, Florida -- January 26, 2006 – TCR, the agency of record for Playboy Racing, today announced a multi-partner, multi-car deal for 2006-2008 Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Special Reserve and the Grand-Am Cup Series. The six car effort will include three Rolex Series Daytona Prototypes and three Grand-Am Cup cars which will debut at the 2006 Rolex 24 At Daytona and will run through the conclusion of the 2008 season.
TCR announced a world class partnership which includes Playboy Enterprises, Uniden Electronics, The Palms Resort & Casino and Vonage. The Ford-powered Crawford Daytona Prototype and Ford Mustang GT Cup entries will be operated by Finlay Motorsports located in Mooresville, NC. The two Pontiac-powered Rileys will be run by the Oxnard, CA-based Pacific Coast Motorsports operation and Unitech Racing in Rosamond, CA will enter two Playboy Nissan 350Z Grand-Am Cup cars.
The #19 Playboy/Uniden/Palms Ford Crawford Daytona Prototype will be piloted by Memo Gidley and Michael McDowell, with IndyCar driver Alex Barron joining them for the season premiere Rolex 24 At Daytona. Playboy, Vonage and The Palms will support the #89 Pontiac Riley Daytona Prototype entry, which will be driven by Alex Figge and Ryan Dalziel. They will be complemented by Jon Fogarty and 2005 Grand-Am Cup Champion David Empringham for the Rolex 24 At Daytona event.
The #15 Playboy/Palms Ford Mustang GT Grand-Am Cup car will be driven by Rob Finlay and Michael McDowell. The # 35 Playboy Nissan 350Z will be driven by Tommy Constantine and Mike Borkowski and the # 33 Playboy Nissan 350Z will be driven by Blake Rosser and David Murry in the Grand-Am Cup Series.
Beginning just after the Rolex 24 in late January, Playboy, the Palms and a yet to be named co-sponsor will be sponsoring a third Daytona Prototype entry. The #53 Playboy Pontiac Riley will be driven by Tommy Constantine and a yet to be named co-driver for the remainder of the 2006 season and beyond.
The program will include exclusive Event Hospitality and Entertainment venues with guest appearances by Playboy Playmates at each of the races and at Playboy-sponsored VIP “After Race” events. There will also be a Palms-sponsored year-end bash at the Palms Resort & Casino in Las Vegas at the end of the racing season.
“We are thrilled to announce this partnership with TCR and to enter the exciting world of auto racing,” said Lisa Natale, SVP of Corporate Marketing for Playboy. “Both Playboy fans and racing fans are enthusiastic and passionate so we view this partnership as a perfect branding opportunity for us. We are looking forward to the season and to working with TCR to ensure all divisions of Playboy Enterprises can participate in this tremendous program.”
“Playboy, in its 50 year history, has never participated in professional auto racing at this level,” said TCR CEO Tommy Constantine. “Our partnership is a testament to this racing series and our program. The Playboy brand is an American Icon and we are proud to be a part of it.”
“Partnering with Playboy to take part in the Rolex Series will provide Uniden a unique industry opportunity to build brand visibility,” said Larry Johannes, Senior Director of Marketing for Uniden America Corporation. “The Rolex Sports Car Series is the upper echelon in sports car racing and this partnership complements our branding efforts in this market.”
“Vonage’s partnership with TCR in the Rolex Series gives us the opportunity to promote our full-featured, inexpensive, flat-rate broadband telephony service plans to technology savvy auto racing fans,” stated Michael Tribolet, president, Vonage America.
“As a sponsor of the 2005 IndyCar Championship and Indy 500-winning Andretti-Green team, we have really come to appreciate the effectiveness of auto racing,” said George Maloof, CEO of the Palms Resort Casino. “TCR has put together an incredible program in the Rolex Series which allows us to expand on our already successful involvement in motorsports.”
“Playboy is one of the world’s most recognizable brands, and we are thrilled that this innovative partnership has developed,” said Grand American Road Racing Association President Roger Edmondson. “Die-hard race fans are undoubtedly aware of Uniden, as Bearcat scanners are prevalent in grandstands of motorsports events everywhere, while The Palms and Vonage have established themselves as cutting-edge companies in the 21st Century. The addition of these companies to our paddock speaks to the significant growth of our organization and is most certainly a feather in our cap.”
About Playboy Enterprises Inc.
Playboy Enterprises is a brand-driven, international multimedia entertainment company that publishes editions of Playboy magazine around the world; operates Playboy and Spice television networks and distributes programming via home video and DVD globally; licenses the Playboy and Spice trademarks internationally for a range of consumer products and services; and operates a network of web sites including Playboy.com, a leading men’s lifestyle and entertainment site.
Uniden America Corporation, the North American subsidiary of Japan-based Uniden Corporation, manufactures and markets wireless consumer electronic products including cordless telephones, business telecommunications systems, VOIP telephones, Bearcat® scanners, FRS/GMRS radios, marine radios, CB radios, and other wireless personal communications products. Based in Fort Worth, Texas, Uniden sells its products through dealers and distributors throughout North, Central and South America.
Vonage is a pioneer in the broadband phone industry, setting the standard for pricing, features, call quality and reliability for the entire VoIP category. Vonage’s award winning service is sold on the web and through national retailers like SAM’s Club, RadioShack, Best Buy, Circuit City, Staples, Fry’s Electronics, Office Depot and CompUSA. Vonage Holdings Corporation is headquartered in Holmdel, New Jersey. For more information about Vonage’s products and services, please visit http://www.vonage.com/playboy or call 1-VONAGE-HELP. Vonage(R) is a trademark of Vonage Marketing, a subsidiary of Vonage Holdings Corp.
About The Palms Casino Resort & Spa
The Palms Casino Resort, heralded as one of Las Vegas’ hippest resorts, offers guests a major destination get-away with a relaxing, affordable resort atmosphere. Owned by the Maloof family, the $265-million, 430-room property boasts a diverse mix of restaurants and bars and a 95,000-square-foot casino. This boutique resort also offers the Palms Spa and AMP salon, Brenden Theatres, a 14-theatre Cineplex and IMAX Theatre, Rain Las Vegas, ghostbar, Skin Pool Lounge, Hart and Huntington Tattoo Company and over 20,000 square-feet of meeting space. The resort is home to the Real World: Las Vegas and the Bravo Celebrity Poker Showdown. The Palms features the hottest specialty suites including the Playpens with a dancer pole, the Real World Suite as seen on MTV and NBA suites with extra-large furniture. E!, VH1, CSI and MTV feature the Palms on a regular basis and the Victoria’s Secret Angels made the Palms a featured destination during their “Angels Across America” tour. The Palms Casino Resort is located just west of the Las Vegas Strip and I-15 on Flamingo Road. For room reservation information, call toll free at (866) PALMS-RES, (866) 725-6773, or visit www.palms.com. For groups of 10 rooms or more, contact the Sales Department at (866) PALMS-MTG or (866) 725-6768.
About the Grand American Road Racing Association
The Grand American Road Racing Association, which operates and sanctions the Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Special Reserve and the Grand-Am Cup Series, is the premier road racing organization in North America. The 15-race 2006 Rolex Series schedule and the 10-race Grand-Am Cup calendar deliver professional sports car racing to key markets throughout North America in addition to being televised in the United States and Canada on SPEED Channel and distributed globally through ESPN International. With title sponsorship support from Rolex Watch USA and presenting sponsorship from Crown Royal Special Reserve, the Rolex Series showcases emerging and legendary drivers from around the globe and thoroughbred racing machines from the industry’s leading constructors and the world’s top automobile manufacturers. Learn more about Grand American at www.grandamerican.com.
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