NASCAR rights deal to strengthen French audience

The TSN and RDS rights deal for the NASCAR Busch Series, effective this year, will deliver the second most popular racing series to Canadians and the promise of major multiplatform opportunities for marketers.

TSN and RDS acquired the English and French broadcast rights for all 35 of the NASCAR Busch Series races, a 10-month run that gets underway on Feb 17 and includes the Aug. 4 race in Montreal – which is expected to build on the already growing NASCAR fan base in Canada. The rights deal complements a 20-year broadcast relationship between TSN and NASCAR, but it also represents a huge push toward strengthening the NASCAR brand throughout French Canada.

NASCAR is the top-ranking motorsport on television in Canada, with an estimated fan base of 5.8 million people. TSN recorded record ratings for its coverage of the 2006 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series with a national average audience of 332,000 viewers, up 15 per cent from 2005.

Sponsorship and integrated marketing opportunities are available through CTV Specialty Sales or NASCAR Canada. While details of TSN’s promotional plan for the series were not disclosed, NASCAR Canada partners will be provided a unique contest as part of their sponsorship. It will include a VIP experience to the Montreal NASCAR Busch Series race.

Last fall, TSN gave heavy multiplatform promotion for the NASCAR brand’s extension into the retail world of HBC’s Zellers stores. The massive campaign (click here for MiC‘s coverage) was tied to the NASCAR Nextel Cup.