UPS extends NASCAR sponsorship

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UPS has signed a new five-year agreement with NASCAR to continue as the official express delivery company of the sport through the 2011 racing season.

The exclusive "Official Delivery Company" partnership extends a union dating back to UPS' initial entry into the sport in 2000. As part of the deal, Atlanta-based UPS will continue providing its popular Trackside Services to the industry at all NASCAR Nextel Cup Series races as well as logistics, freight and supply-chain services.

UPS today serves as the delivery company to about 99 percent of the more than 1,000 NASCAR family businesses, race teams, racetracks, NASCAR business units, and other NASCAR sponsors and suppliers. That represents a 55 percent increase in racing customers since UPS entered the sport.

UPS' decision to extend its relationship with NASCAR follows the company's decision in 2006 to move its team sponsorship with Dale Jarrett to the new No. 44 Toyota Camry, which debuts at the Daytona 500 on Feb. 18.

UPS maintains six individual track sponsorships, including Bristol Motor Speedway, California Speedway, Daytona International Speedway, Homestead-Miami Speedway, Richmond International Raceway and Texas Motor Speedway.

The most visible part of UPS' role in NASCAR has been its popular "Race the Truck" advertising series, which returns once again in 2007. This year's ads will focus on Mr. Jarrett trying to assemble the perfect pit crew. Mr. Jarrett will have several celebrity friends assist him with the search, but one can imagine it will take a special group of people to handle this unique race truck.

The new series of ads will debut during the Daytona 500.

UPS has been an active supporter of NASCAR's diversity efforts to embrace the expanding demographics of its fan base. In November, the company contributed $100,000 to five minority students at the NASCAR Technical Institute in Mooresville, NC. The scholarships cover all school expenses except room and board for qualified minority students attending the institute.

To date, UPS has provided $600,000 in scholarships to the program .

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