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Africa Channel signs sponsorship deal to compete in 2013 NASCAR racing season
(July 4, 2012) The Africa Channel recently announced a five-year, joint sponsorship commitment with Tullman Fenley Motorsports through 2017. "The Africa Channel Car" will debut and compete in the 2013 NASCAR racing season.
"This is a unique opportunity for an African American-owned media entity to have a presence in one of America's most popular and dynamic sports," said Elrick Williams, President and CEO of The Africa Channel. He added, "The race car will offer a unique marketing platform as well as provide opportunities to develop compelling TV content".
Veteran biotech industry leader and Tullman Fenley Motorsports co-owner Steve Tullman sees the initiative as a high visibility platform to raise awareness of treatment and prevention options for very serious health issues, such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer and high blood pressure, which are chronic in the Black community.
Tullman Fenley Motorsports team co-owner and team manager Randy Fenley says, "This relationship is the catalyst for dramatic progress in the efforts to bring true diversity to the incredible sport of NASCAR. The partnership brings exposure to potential fans not normally engaged in NASCAR, while at the same time providing opportunities for very talented drivers who have not yet been able to showcase their talents.
NASCAR has shown interest in and is supportive of the initiative. One such hopeful is 20 year-old, Richmond, Virginia native, Dystany Spurlock who is looking to transition from motorcycle drag racing into the world of stock cars.
The Africa Channel racing team and its efforts to develop African American drivers was presented at the 2012 National Association of Black Journalists Convention in New Orleans.
- Minorities now represent 22% of NASCAR fans*
- African Americans compose nearly 10% of the NASCAR fan base
- Forty-eight percent (48%) of NASCAR fans are 18-44
- Typically, sponsorships for NASCAR teams range between $10 – $30 million, per year
The Africa Channel's premiere on September 1, 2005 marked a milestone in U.S. television history. For the first time, American audiences were able to experience the daily successes, celebrations and challenges of people living throughout Africa, all via a general entertainment network. The Africa Channel is broadcast in the United States through national distribution deals with the three largest cable MSOs in the country: Comcast, Time Warner and Cox, as well as other cable systems.
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