By Michael Smith, Staff Writer, SportsBusiness JournalThe chief of Phillips-Van Heusen marketing said Izod's title sponsorship of the IndyCar Series will not be similar to other entitlements because much of the in-market activation will be focused away from the track. "This is not going to be about a bunch of hospitality," said Michael Kelly, Exec VP/Marketing of Izod's parent company. "We're going to break the traditional molds. We're going to take the track out to the community to expose the sport to the public." An announcement from IndyCar is expected this afternoon on a six-year agreement with options between Phillips-Van Heusen and the IRL. The new name will be the Izod IndyCar Series. All in, Izod's spend next year is expected to be close to $20M. The rights fee to the IRL of $6-7M a year is expected to bring the league close to break-even financially, which is significant because the IRL has not turned a profit since it was formed in '96. In addition to the rights fee, Izod will spend about $3M annually on media with the IRL's broadcast partners, ESPN and Versus. The spend with Versus' parent company Comcast will extend beyond the race broadcasts and onto its other networks -- Golf Channel, E!, Style and G4.
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