NASCAR sponsors go the extra patriotic mile

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — NASCAR is going patriotic this weekend with many of its sponsors behind products and events designed to honor active servicemen and women, veterans and their families, ahead of the Coke Zero 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway (DIS).

Headlining the activities will be Goodyear, which will launch its “Goodyear Gives Back” program benefiting Support Our Troops. Goodyear is running special “Support Our Troops” tires in both the NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races this weekend to honor our Armed Forces. With the help of the entire NASCAR family via volunteer service, auction items, and items for care packages, Goodyear has contributed nearly $400,000 in charitable support since 2010 to help military members and their families through the Support Our Troops organization. Fans can learn more and get involved in the “Goodyear Gives Back” program by visiting www.goodyear.com/givesback.

As part of this year’s program, 5,000 care packages will be shipped to U.S. troops serving overseas. The packages were assembled by approximately 100 volunteers on July 5 at DIS. Packages will include a variety of products donated by NASCAR Official Partners, Licensees, and other sponsors, including sun screen, lip balm, sore muscle balm and toothpaste packs. UPS employees will be among the volunteers assembling the care packages, which will be transported to UPS's sorting facility in Atlanta for additional processing. From there, UPS will coordinate the delivery of the cargo to troops stationed at Bagram Air Force Base in Afghanistan.

“It's an honor to lend our logistical expertise to this important program as a way of recognizing the service and sacrifice of the men and women in the U.S. armed forces," said Ron Rogowski, VP UPS sponsorships and events. "Every week UPS Trackside Services provides critical logistics support to the racing teams, but this is an opportunity to extend our NASCAR partnership for an especially important mission. We salute everyone who has served or is currently serving in the military, including the 25,000 veterans employed at UPS and the 3,100 UPSers who are currently on some type of military leave."

The NASCAR Foundation is also partnering with Goodyear to host a 9-week auction featuring items such as autographed Support Our Troops race-used Goodyear tires, fan VIP experiences, and assorted racing memorabilia.

Other Official NASCAR Partners, including Sprint, Nationwide, Toyota, Coors Light, Ritz, and Gillette; and NASCAR Licensees K’NEX and MechanixWear have also been heavily involved the An American Salute and Goodyear Gives Back campaigns in a variety of ways.

NASCAR drivers will also be doing their part on-track, with various NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR Nationwide Series drivers adorning An American Salute paint schemes on their race cars and displaying Goodyear tires with the Support Our Troops sidewall design. NASCAR fans are invited to participate by filling out postcards with messages of encouragement and thanks to military families at various locations around the track such as the Air Force and Ford displays, and at The NASCAR Foundation hauler in the DIS midway. Goodyear will also have postcards in their DIS midway display, as well as a thank you banner for fans to sign. On the digital space, a Facebook campaign profiling military heroes and their families also kicked-off this week.