New Zealand largest annual sporting event, the V8 Supercar street race in Hamilton, has attracted a long-term naming sponsor in the shape of New Zealand's largest independent building merchant group, ITM
The third running of the event, set for 16-18 April next year, will be the first of three to be backed by the company, and will be known as the ITM 400. Taking over from the popular Pukekohe as New Zealand's sole V8 Supercar round, Hamilton has attracted 300,000 fans in its first two years on the calendar.
“To secure a naming sponsor of this significance provides increased commercial credibility and to achieve this outcome in the current economic climate speaks volumes for the stature of our event and our belief that V8 Supercars can deliver a value for money, positive return on investment for sponsors,” event director Steve Vuleta said.
“ITM have been a sponsor in the last two years. They are a strong New Zealand company with nationwide distribution, their customers are part of our key demographic mix and ITM has excellent brand and corporate values.”
ITM has more than 90 branches nationwide, and has already been involved in the creation of the Hamilton event.
“The whole team at ITM is thrilled to be the naming sponsor for the ITM 400,” CEO Gordon Buswell noted, “We have built our brand to attract customers, build credibility with suppliers and excite our people, and the ITM 400 undoubtedly achieves all three.
“This will be our third year of involvement in what has become NZ's largest sporting event. The construction of the track, its removal, the precision of the racing teams and the responsiveness to the needs of the motor racing public are all measures of professionalism that we are thrilled to be part of. We look forward to being part of the success of the ITM 400 team for at least the next three years.”
The announcement has naturally met with a positive response from V8 Supercar organisers, who are keen to see the series venture across the Tasman Sea to New Zealand.
“The ITM 400 in Hamilton is, without doubt, the best sporting event in New Zealand - and it is also a vital part of our championship and its' long-term future,” executive chairman Tony Cochrane said, “It is sensational news that ITM, a company that is enjoying such tremendous growth, has chosen to increase its sponsorship to naming rights level. It clearly shows that companies associated with our sport, the V8 Supercar brand and the great events we stage bring with them significant rewards for our partners.”
Event organisers, pleased with a favourable date in the last week of the school holidays, also had good news for racegoers in the current economic climate, with a revised look at ticket pricing. A new flexi-stand ticket – the ultimate general admission ticket - complements revised and larger gold level grandstands and significant lowering of pricing in all silver grandstand and general admission categories.