What’s in a name?
For Phoenix International Raceway to become ISM Raceway starting in 2018, a total investment that could approach $100 million over 10 years, including installation of leading-edge digital technology designed to enhance the at-track experience for fans and corporate partners alike.
ISM – Ingenuity Sun Media – will pay an annual single-figure million-dollar fee during the next decade for the track’s first-ever naming-rights sponsorship, azcentral sports has learned. The official announcement of ISM Raceway is scheduled for Tuesday.
ISM’s Connect network will provide digital display screens, interactive fan experiences, a mobile app and social-media integrations throughout the facility, including in the new pedestrian tunnel connecting the infield and grandstands.
ISM Connect also will have naming rights for one of the two interactive entrances called “Canyons.”
“When you think about the project as a whole, and all the upgrades the fans are going to enjoy, we’ll think about ISM,” said PIR President Bryan Sperber. “Without ISM’s involvement, it would have made it very difficult to move forward and make it all come to life.
“Their capabilities in the world of tech will be on display here. Fans will have a tech-driven, leading-edge, experience. We’ll be a showroom for ISM and our fans will be the beneficiaries.”
Sperber added, “I fully expect there will be some new names coming on board” as sponsors of venue landmarks (garage area, etc.), possibly ISM tech industry partners. Sperber said ISM also will be involved in the track’s community outreach programs.
While “Phoenix” will no longer be part of the official name, Sperber said it will be included in a new track logo.
The Avondale oval, built in 1964, announced a $178 million redevelopment last January, to be completed by November 2018. The project includes 45,000 new stadium-style grandstand seats and 51 hospitality suites accessible by escalators, prime location motorcoach parking spaces and garages inside the Fan Zone.
ISM has become heavily involved in motorsports this year, partnering with the country’s two largest racetrack operators, including PIR’s parent company International Speedway Corp. ISM Connect was title sponsor of Sunday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Auto Club Speedway, in Fontana, Calif., is the only other track hosting NASCAR’s premier Cup Series to have a corporate identity.
The final event under the PIR name will be the Nov. 12 Can-Am 500, the Cup Series playoff semifinal.