Cheez-It to Title Sponsor Nasar Race at Watkins Glen International

By Community | January 16, 2013

Watkins Glen International and Kellogg Co. Cheez-It will be the title sponsor for the Aug. 11 event, patient to be called the Cheez-It 355 at The Glen.

The Cheez-It 355 will headline the annual NASCAR race weekend at Watkins Glen, sale which also will include the Nationwide Series’ Zippo 200 on Aug. 10. The 355 stands for the number of kilometers in the 90-lap, medstore 220.5-mile race.

Dana Hardy, manager of integrated promotions for Kellogg, and WGI President Michael Printup said the contract is a multiyear deal, though they wouldn’t specify the length or how much money is involved.

They did say Carl Edwards will help commemorate the sponsorship by driving the Cheez-It Ford Fusion in the August Sprint Cup race.

Kellogg, the parent company for Cheez-It, has been involved with NASCAR since 1991. But this marks the company’s first race entitlement sponsorship.

Hardy, who came to the announcement from Kellogg’s home base in Battle Creek, Mich., said negotiations went smoothly.

“It all came together fairly quickly,” she said.

Hardy added that Kellogg considered many promotional options and worked it down to a short list before deciding on Watkins Glen.

“It all came to getting first-rate quality,” she said. “Watkins Glen is a fan-favorite track. It makes sense to partner with them.”

Printup added, “We’ve had good relations with Kellogg.”

He said the deal had nothing to do with planned repaving at the track, which he said will take place two to three years from now.

WGI was unable to come up with a sponsor for its 2012 Cup race, called the Finger Lakes 355 at The Glen.

Printup said the Cup races at Watkins Glen over the past few years have been considered among the best during the NASCAR season, making it attractive to sponsors. As just one of two road courses on the Sprint Cup schedule, recent Glen races have offered slam-bang racing and close finishes.

Heluva Good!, a Sodus-based maker of dips, sour cream, cheese and condiments, had been the Glen’s Cup race sponsor from 2009 to 2011. WGI and Heluva Good! were unable to come to an agreement to continue the sponsorship.

Budweiser was the original Cup race sponsor at Watkins Glen, starting in 1986. The event was known as the Bud at The Glen until 1998.