Speed Channel Taps Merchandising Source

Speed Channel said Wednesday that it will team up with The Source International to accelerate its merchandising efforts.

The partnership started its engines Wednesday when the network’s Web site (www.speedtv.com) began offering “Speed Swag" -- network apparel and accessories, as well as show-specific items for Wind Tunnel and 2 Wheel Tuesday.

After speeding around the first turn, the merchandising effort will be expanded to at-track sales beginning with the 2005 race season, and discussions are under way to add motor-sports books, DVDs and other merchandise to the Speed Swag list.

“We decided to partner with a company that not only understands licensed merchandise, but is also a major player in merchandise television and trackside sales,” Speed senior vice president of marketing and on-air promotion Bill Osborn said in a prepared statement.

“Our 20 years of experience, along with the audience reach of Speed, will make for a very strong partnership,” TSI president George deBidart said in a prepared statement. “The fan-based program is the first of its kind in motor sports, and it will grow along with the network.”