Zippo marks 10 years as Watkins Glen race sponsor
August 05, 2014, Staff report, NASCAR.com
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On Saturday, Watkins Glen International will host the Zippo 200 NASCAR Nationwide Series race (2 p.m. ET, ESPN) for the 10th consecutive season. The entitlement sponsor plans to celebrate the milestone with a commemorative item up for bid for charity and a deal for fans on a new grill.
In March, Zippo Manufacturing Company announced a multi-year renewal with the track to extend the third longest running sponsorship of a Nationwide race. Zippo, based two hours from the Glen in Bradford, Pennsylvania, is the longest continuous sponsor of WGI, beginning its relationship with the road-racing facility in 1993.
Twenty-years ago, Zippo became the inaugural sponsor of the U.S. Vintage Grand Prix and helped grow it into one of the largest vintage racing events in the U.S. In 2005, the company increased its support by sponsoring the Zippo 200 Nationwide event.
"Zippo has been a fantastic partner for more than 20 years and we are thrilled to continue that relationship," WGI President Michael Printup said. "Both the Zippo and Watkins Glen International brands are known for their quality of product, history and longevity. Words cannot express our gratitude for their renewal or the excitement that we feel as we prepare to celebrate this 10th anniversary sponsorship milestone. We know that our fans love their products, so their involvement with our track over the years is a real benefit to everyone involved."
In honor of the milestone race, Zippo will produce a commemorative item for fans to bid on at the Zippo 200 with all proceeds to be donated to charity. Also, fans can grab a Sahlen's hot dog sample fresh off of the Zippo Outdoor All-Terrain grill, trade in grills for $50 toward a new one and enter the Fire Up the Grill Sweepstakes.
The Zippo Hot Spot is one of the most popular interactive vendor displays on manufacturers' row, offering new product challenges and demonstrations, lighter fill-ups, minor repairs, and a wide selection of Zippo windproof lighters. Stop by the company's display all weekend to play the bean bag toss game, win prizes and meet the Zippo team.
"From the beginning, our partnership with WGI has been a great fit for both of us," Greg Booth, Zippo president and CEO, said. "Racing fans, especially NASCAR fans, have the same loyalty and passion for their sport as Zippo lighter fans have for our product. The introduction of our Zippo Outdoor line of products makes even more sense as we reach out to the thousands of avid fans who pack the campgrounds during race weekend at the Glen."
Zippo has unveiled many of its new products at WGI during the NASCAR weekends, including the award-winning Zippo refillable handwarmer. In 2011, the company debuted the Zippo Jeep, a 2011 Jeep Wrangler modified by West Coast Customs to embody the attributes of the Zippo brand and serve as promotional ambassador for the emerging Zippo Outdoor line of products.