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Pure Michigan ends sponsorship of NASCAR races

BROOKLYN, MI – The August NASCAR Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway will no longer be named after the state’s tourism campaign.

Pure Michigan, a Travel Michigan campaign and arm of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, has paid to sponsor the MIS race since 2011. It cost $725,000 to sponsor the August 2017 Pure Michigan 400, MEDC Director of Public Relations Michelle Grinnell said.

Launched in 2006, Pure Michigan was still gaining brand recognition when the partnership with MIS began, said Dave Lorenz, vice president of Travel Michigan.

“We launched our sponsorship of the August race at a time when we were still primarily focused on growing awareness of the Pure Michigan brand,” Lorenz said in an email. “Particularly among a demographic that was different from our broadcast advertising campaign audience of women age 25 to 54.”

Seven years later, changes in the industry and a maturation of the brand require a new approach, Lorenz said.

“Today, opportunities to take a more targeted approach to marketing mean we can deliver interest-specific information to audiences that overlap with those attending the race at MIS through our digital campaign efforts,” Lorenz said.

While it’s no longer a race title sponsor, Lorenz said Pure Michigan will still promote events at the track – including racing and the Faster Horses Festival.