For the 2008 season, Microsoft will be one of the sponsors of the No. 49 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team.
Microsoft’s “Small Business” logo will adorn the hood, bumper and rear quarter panels of the Toyota Camry-based race car. Microsoft is also promoting its Small Business Specialist Community — a slice of the extensive partner network through which Microsoft gets most of its sales.
The company has set up an opportunity for partners to “tap into a marketing venue not seen as financially available to many before,” Eric Ligman, U.S. senior manager of small business community engagement, wrote in a blog announcing the NASCAR promotion.
For $3,995, partners can buy a package of promotional opportunities from BAM Racing, including their logo on Microsoft’s space on the No. 49 car, driven by Ken Schrader. One element is the chance for a partner to win a primary sponsorship (its brand is the “primary one on the car for a race”). That’s worth more than $300,000, Ligman wrote.
The sponsorship “provides a connection to approximately 75 million NASCAR fans,” he noted.
The Microsoft sponsorship first appears Sunday, March 30 at Martinsville Speedway in Virginia.
I first spotted coverage of this at the Puget Sound Business Journal.