Speedway announces new sponsor for fall NASCAR race – Martinsville Bulletin
MARTINSVILLE-Martinsville Speedway’s fall Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race just got a new sponsor. Speedway officials announced Wednesday morning that First Data Corporation will take over sponsorship of the event in a three-year deal. October 29 will mark the inaugural First Data 500 race at the track.
Martinsville Speedway President Clay Campbell and Josh King, global head of communications for First Data, announced the sponsorship at a media event held at the Speedway.
“We’re proud to announce that for the next three years, through 2020, our fall Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series event will be the First Data 500,” Campbell said. “This is an exciting day for all of us. This has been in the works for quite some time. This is the culmination of a lot of hard work and excitement and enthusiasm. To have a company like First Data be a part of Martinsville Speedway for the next three years is pretty exciting.”
“We are so honored to be here,” King said. “On behalf of our chairman and chief executive officer Frank Bisignano, I want to express our humble gratitude of being welcomed into the Martinsville and Henry County family. We are proud to plant a stake in the ground for three years with you at least and to join the NASCAR family.”
King described First Data as “one of the largest companies you’ve never heard of.” The global payment technology solutions company handles about 3,000 transactions per second, King said, and $2 trillion worth of transactions each year.
To put that in perspective, King said, $2 trillion is about ten percent of the United States’ gross domestic product.
“We may not be one of those storied NASCAR brands like M&Ms or Budweiser,” King said, “but chances are, when you buy a bag of candy or a can of beer, that payment is transacted through the rail network of First Data.”
Other speakers at the event included First Data Chief Marketing Officer Mia Shernoff and Head of Corporate Citizenship Vivian Greentree.
Shernoff said that as part of the sponsorship, First Data’s point of sale system known as “Clover” will be installed at the Speedway and used to process all transactions at the track.
King told Campbell that he was reminded of a quote from Campbell’s grandfather, Speedway founder H. Clay Earles: “Your customers are your greatest asset, and that will never change. You actually sell the customer a memory as much as a race. If the memories are good, they’ll keep coming back.”
“I think (there is overlap between) what you do with your fans here in Martinsville and what we do with our small business owners and merchants who sell products every day,” King said. “They’re not selling a product, they’re selling you memories. It’s great to be in business with you, and with NASCAR, and to be launching the First Data 500.”
Martinsville Speedway, also known as “The Paperclip,” is the only track from the original 1949 NASCAR schedule that continues to host the sport’s top series today. This year’s First Data 500 will be one of the races in NASCAR’s “Round of 8” in the playoffs. The race will be held on Sunday, Oct. 29.