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NASCAR Drives Up Madison Road

NASCAR is continuing its push to go Hollywood by bringing on Madison Road Entertainment to be its exclusive provider of sponsored brand-integration inside NASCAR television programming.

Under the new deal, Madison Road will also attempt to place the NASCAR brand in non-NASCAR shows at the beginning of the development process.

The auto racing outfit is currently entrenched as the country’s second most-popular sport behind the NFL, but it still has tremendous desire to expand its footprint to a more mainstream audience.

"It is a big misconception that NASCAR needs to be in the South," says Madison Road CEO Jak Severson. "It is a broadly popular sport and when people in the more urban areas have the opportunity to experience NASCAR in the way they are used to experiencing entertainment, it’s only going to drive the popularity.”

NASCAR cars and drivers are covered in sponsor logos already, so the sport and its stars like Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jeff Gordon generate significant brand loyalty in fans.  NASCAR and Madison Road are hoping their new arrangement can find new ways to further leverage that relationship.

"NASCAR views branded entertainment as a way for advertisers and marketers who have supported the sport for so long to go beyond just what they can do on the race track," says Severson. "Our intent is also to make producers aware that opportunities now exist to efficiently go far and wide with NASCAR and its built-in fan base."

The move also continues the growth of Madison Road, a branded entertainment studio perhaps once best known for its association with Mark Burnett.  The company recently hired American Dreams creator Jonathan Prince to create projects and recruit talent as it looks to expand its production roster and link up Hollywood and Madison Avenue.  The firm is also involved in the upcoming Treasure Hunters, an unscripted series on NBC.