Budweiser has signed an enhanced multi-million dollar sponsorship agreement with the Daytona International Speedway, increasing its visibility during the build-up to the 2013 Daytona 500.Budweiser has taken title sponsorship rights to Speedweeks, the ten-day period of practice, qualifying and racing preceding the Daytona 500.Budweiser has also bought the title sponsorship rights to the Duels, the qualifying races three days before the Daytona 500 which set the bulk of the grid positions. This year's pair of races were title sponsored by Gatorade.This new package sees Budweiser drop its title sponsorship of the Budweiser Shootout, the traditional curtain-raiser to Speed Weeks. The move had been widely anticpated after confirmation from Nascar that it is to change the eligibility rules for the 2013 Shootout.Those new rules would have led to the unsatisfactory possibility that drivers who won Coors Light Pole Awards in 2012 – part of Coors Light’s role as Nascar’s official beer – would be qualifying for the Budweiser Shootout.
“Speedweeks at Daytona International Speedway marks the official start of the Nascar season, and the opportunity to expand our presence throughout the ten-day event puts Budweiser even more in the thick of it all,” said Brad Brown, vice president of sports & entertainment marketing for Anheuser-Busch.“The Shootout has been an important element of our Nascar programme for 34 years, but this opportunity to enhance our partnership makes Budweiser even more relevant to our consumers as well as the fans of the Daytona 500.”Included in the deal is the presenting sponsorship of the Daytona 500 pre-race show, broadcast on Fox.“Budweiser is the longest running active partner with Daytona International Speedway and we are incredibly excited to enter this new chapter with them in 2013,” added Daytona International Speedway president Joie Chitwood. “The opportunities created by this enhanced partnership are compelling and our fans will benefit the most. The intensity and fun atmosphere that Budweiser brought to the Shootout for so many years will be taken up several notches as they assume a much broader role during Speedweeks and ‘The Great American Race.’”