If you see a bunch of Canadian stock car fans sitting around eating some chicken wings, they have some good reason to enjoy the yummy treat.
On Monday, December 7, NASCAR announced that Pinty’s Delicious Foods had entered into a six-year relationship with the sanctioning body to become the entitlement sponsor of Canada’s premiere stock car tour. The series will now be known as the NASCAR Pinty’s Series heading into 2016 and beyond.
“It’s huge,” George Silbermann, NASCAR Vice President of Regional and Touring Series, said. “I think it’s huge not only for NASCAR, but for the series and for fans in Canada in general. It’s really nice to have a sponsor who understands motorsports, sees the value, and is really enthusiastic about getting behind this deal. They’re really excited. They want to get behind it in a big way, and that’s the kind of sponsor that will bring the series to the next level.”
Founded in 1943, Pinty’s is a Canadian company that produces a range of premium quality fresh and frozen chicken products, most notably known for their famous chicken wings.
“Pinty’s is an authentic Canadian brand, with roots and values as a family owned business,” Silbermann said. “It’s a poultry powerhouse. It’s one of the most recognized brands in Canada, and it’s synonymous with top notch quality.”
Pinty’s kicked off their relationship with the series in 2012 as a contingency sponsor. The partnership has continued to grow between NASCAR and Pinty’s, with the brand sponsoring select races throughout past seasons, including events at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park and Kawartha Speedway.
Tony Spiteri, Pinty’s Senior Vice President of Marketing, Research and Development, felt that the pair fit together to make a great relationship as they’re both after the same target audience, both family-based and Pinty’s is a company that enjoys their sports, ranging from curling to football to racing.
“We’re very pleased within the company – all 500 of us – to announce our partnership with George and NASCAR,” he stated. “But what’s going to be different that I’d like to announce, and pledge to everybody in this room, all of the participants, team owners, race teams, is that we’re not just pledging our sponsorship to you. We’re pledging to be passionate sponsors of the spot in Canada. Canada has world renown venues. The track (CTMP) that Ron (Fellows) and Miles are running at Mosport can be viewed as one of the most beautiful race tracks in the world. We have some of the best race teams. Scott Steckly is in the room, four-time champion – we’re proud of you, Scott (Steckly), and what you do. We also have some of the best broadcast partners in the sport. I’m excited about the sponsorship, but pledge to be a passionate sponsor.”
The excitement was also shared by the series’ broadcast partner as Shawn Redmond, TSN’s Vice President of Programming and Events, states the announcement is a great example of Pinty’s commitment to motorsports in Canada.
“Pinty’s has been a great partner to the teams, promoters and the fans,” he added. “This new relationship is a wonderful example of their commitment to the sport. The Pinty’s brand is about the highest quality product, which is something that TSN shares. We look forward to working with you on growing the series. To Randy, Tony, and all of the Pinty’s employees, we’re congratulate you on this announcement. We truly look forward to being your wingman on the track, in the community, in the grocery store and on television.”
Some of the series’ competitors were in attendance for the announcement, each of them sharing the same excitement with regards to the upcoming season.
“It’s great news for stock car racing in Canada to have a company step up like Pinty’s and take over from Canadian Tire,” reigning series champion Scott Steckly said. “It just shows that there’s definitely a lot of interest in our series, and I can’t thank Pinty’s enough for becoming the series sponsor. They add a lot of stability to the series.”
“It’s great for the series,” Jason Hathaway said. “Pinty’s has a great marketplace, and that’s big for the series. They’re involved with other events, so that could bring forth other marketing opportunities down the road. Definitely a product that I use in my household with having three kids. It’s something that we enjoy.”
Track owners and race promoters also shared the enthusiasm with hopes of the full series schedule for 2016 being announced in the coming days.
“I think it’s fantastic news,” Brian Todish, one of the Sunset Speedway track owners, said. “As part of the NASCAR family as a home track, we’re looking forward to working with Pinty’s, getting on board through sponsorship and some events at the track.”
After kicking off the inaugural tour in 2007, this year marks the ninth season of Canadian NASCAR competition, with action coast to coast featuring a variety of street courses, road courses and ovals. The series has become known for the door-banging, fender rubbing action on the ovals, to go along with the close, right down to the wire finishes on the road and street courses. Silbermann stressed on Monday the meaning of the announcement, speaking highly of the Canadian fan base.
“There’s great history with NASCAR in Canada, and it all starts with the fans,” he stated. “Whether it’s attending local NASCAR Whelen All-American Series tracks in their community, or attending a Camping World Truck Series race, as well as the many Canadian fans who attend races in the United States, as well as watching races on TSN. NASCAR Canadian fans are passionate no matter their way.”
It’s that passion that has driven Silbermann and his team to continue to strive for the best Canadian racing series product possible. Silbermann expressed pride in that, noting how the series “features renown drivers to young and up coming talent, occasionally with drivers from the United States, with non-stop action”. The enthusiasm is shared by TSN as Redmond mentioned it’s great to have a “strong series” that they show the fans from track-to-track, while watching talent develop.
With new air breathed into the series, the only direction from here is up to a bigger, and even stronger series.
“Today’s announcement that a great Canadian success story has come onboard as the sponsor of the NASCAR Pinty’s Series is not only recognition of where it is today, but where it could go tomorrow,” Redmond said. “It’s the beginning of a brand era for Canada’s premiere series, and we all look forward to the great things that we can do together.”