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SPEED RACERS: Izod marked its first season as the official apparel sponsor of the IndyCar Series earlier this month with a series of events in Miami, which hosted the final race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Oct. 10. Izod hosted two in-store events at Macy’s doors in The Falls and Dadeland, with appearances by top drivers including Danica Patrick, Graham Rahal, Tony Kanaan and Ryan Hunter-Reay. Shoppers received autographs, rides in street-legal racers and could view vintage Indy cars valued at $20 million. Also part of the week-long festivities was a concert by Pharrell and N.E.R.D. for more than 1,500 guests at the W Hotel in South Beach, preceded by an Izod fashion show and a beach volleyball competition between IndyCar drivers and Miami lifeguards, whom Izod also sponsors. (The drivers beat the lifeguards two games to one.)
Izod’s five-year, multimillion-dollar marketing partnership with IndyCar started in March, and encompassed 17 races this season; 20 in-store events; television commercials; print ads; cinema spots, and outdoor. It is the brand’s single largest marketing effort.
“This is the fastest-growing motor sport, and this initiative has really allowed us to transform our position within Macy’s,” said Mike Kelly, executive vice president of marketing at Phillips-Van Heusen, which owns Izod. “We may increase our investment in this program next year.” Izod rings up $1 billion in annual retail sales, according to the company. — David Lipke