ISM Raceway back to old name Phoenix Raceway


Julie Giese - Phoenix Raceway Image: Phoenix Raceway

On January 3 this year, the Phoenix Raceway in United States, mutually agreed to terminate the naming rights agreement with ISM Connect and its name reverted back to Phoenix Raceway. The track originally announced the new naming rights agreement with ISM Connect in September 2017.

ISM Raceway, the major motorsports facility in Avondale, Arizona in US, will go back to its original name, Phoenix Raceway. The track is owned by the International Speedway Corporation (ISC).

Technology company ISM will no longer have naming rights to what again will be known as Phoenix Raceway. However, ISM Raceway President Julie Giese made it clear that there will be no marked changes in spectator amenities, or the Avondale Oval being the first-time host for all three NASCAR national series championship races to be held from November 6-8 this year.

Julie Giese, President, ISM Raceway Phoenix, US, is a member of Coliseum’s Global Strategic Committee.

The announcement to this regard was made by Julie Giese, who issued the following statement – “Beginning today, we will be transitioning from ISM Raceway back to our traditional name, Phoenix Raceway. As you know, Phoenix Raceway is a brand with a long motorsports history since we opened our doors back in 1964. Many of you have shared… numerous stories of your experiences at Phoenix Raceway over the years and we’re excited to get back to our roots ahead of a monumental and historic 2020 season. While the naming rights partnership is ending, ISM Connect will continue to have a strong presence in NASCAR moving forward. We are grateful for their commitment the past two years to reinventing the fan experience with us at Phoenix Raceway.”

Her statement further read, “As we turn the calendar to a new year, our entire team is incredibly excited for what’s ahead at Phoenix Raceway in 2020, culminating in the first-ever NASCAR Championship Weekend in the Valley of The Sun! Thank you for your continued support and I can’t wait to welcome you back to Phoenix Raceway in March for the FanShield 500 Speed Fest Weekend.”

As per media reports, the raceway and ISM mutually agreed to take a relook at their partnership, ending the ISM Raceway naming-right portion. No formal announcement is expected in this regard. ISM is shifting its focus from brand awareness but will continue in its role as a technology provider to the raceway and NASCAR.

Industry sources informed that ISM was to pay an annual single-figure, million-dollar fee beginning in 2018, with an investment that could have approached $100 million in total value over 10 years.

Former track President Bryan Sperber said that had ISM not participated in the facility’s $178 million redecoration work which was over in November 2018, “it would have made it very difficult to move forward and make it all come to life”.

ISM’s Connect network includes digital display screens, interactive fan experiences, a mobile app and social media integrations. Its name will also no longer be on display on one of the track’s two ‘Canyons’ entrances.

“I want to reassure our fans that the immersive experience they receive during events at Phoenix Raceway will not be affected by the naming rights change,” Giese said.

ISM Connect remains a partner in the sport and the ISM Vision screens our fans are used to seeing throughout the facility will continue to enhance the incomparable fan experience during NASCAR event weekends at our track,” she further stated.

Several other NASCAR speedways will continue to boast ISM’s Vision screens.

The track and ISM made the following statements – “Phoenix Raceway and ISM Connect have mutually agreed to restructure their relationship and will discontinue its naming rights partnership. We look forward to transitioning back to Phoenix Raceway, a brand that has built a strong affinity across the racing community since our opening in 1964. The repositioning of Phoenix Raceway aligns with NASCAR’s integrated sponsorship strategy and supports ISM Connect’s efforts to shift their focus from brand awareness to delivering their next generation technology at NASCAR facilities. We thank ISM Connect for their partnership as we look forward to a historic season for our track, culminating with the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series Championship at Phoenix Raceway.”

ISM Connect is thankful to Julie Giese and her team for two thrilling seasons as Phoenix Raceway’s naming rights partner. In collaboration with NASCAR, ISM will shift efforts within the sport to better align with where the company is today, which is less focused on brand awareness and more focused on delivering next generation, place-based networks that provide sponsors and venues with state-of-the-art engagement and best-in-class audience measurement.”

Auto Club Speedway, in Fontana, Calif., is now the only track hosting NASCAR’s premier Cup Series and enjoys a corporate identity.

The upcoming events at Phoenix Raceway is the March 6-8 FanShield 500 Speed Fest weekend, headlined by NASCAR’s Cup and Xfinity Series, plus the track’s first ARCA series race.

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