State Highway Safety Showcase
Dover, Delaware hosts two NASCAR races each year at the Dover Downs International Speedway. The dates of these races coincide with the national Click It or Ticket (CIOT) and impaired driving campaigns, and the typical NASCAR enthusiast shares the same demographic traits as the audience for seat belt and impaired driving messages – young to middle-aged males. For the past two years, the Delaware Office of Highway Safety (OHS) has leveraged these timing and target audience overlaps to partner with NASCAR driver JJ Yeley and his team to promote seat belt use and drunk driving prevention. This unique partnership has garnered unprecedented media attention.
Delaware's CIOT and Drive Sober. Arrive Alive messages and logos appear on both JJ's fire suit and race car (for both the Nationwide and Sprint Cup races). JJ made countless personal appearances and autograph sessions in the FanZone at the OHS booth throughout race weekends. The partnership also included ad space in Pole Position magazine, highway safety signs throughout the race track, as well as dozens of media interviews, including a Trackside segment on SPEED channel leading up to race festivities.
In addition, JJ's NASCAR Sprint Cup show car was on display each weekend for NASCAR fan photo opportunties. JJ participated in a live pre-race interview before race weekend with the Sirius XM NASCAR station where he spoke about why designated drivers are so important. JJ and the campaign messages were featured on: ESPN/NASCAR.com; catchfence.com; NASCAR Illustated: Splash n' Go; Cape Gazette; SPEED Channel; and other media outlets.
The partnership extended to Tommy Baldwin Racing and GC Motorsports racing teams, which supported OHS' earned media efforts through additional press releases and other NASCAR-specific media opportunities. Tommy Baldwin Racing's PR staff estimated a return on investment of $357,000 worth of free media exposure through online mentions, radio exposure and TV segments for each race weekend.
Overall, the Delaware OHS was very pleased with the exposure of the message, which dovetailed nicely with its DUI enforcement and seat belt enforcement efforts that occurred before, during and after the race weekend activities.
- Alison Kirk
Community Relations Officer
Delaware Office of Highway Safety