Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Save Mart Supermarkets Signs On For Five More Years' of NASCAR Sponsorship

Sunday's Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway.

Northern California Market Region

Modesto, California-based Save Mart Supermarkets has signed a multi-year agreement to continue as co-title sponsor of the annual NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at Infineon Raceway in Northern California's Sonoma Valley.

The announcement was made Sunday (June 26) by Save Mart majority-owner, chairman and CEO Bob Piccinini and Steve Page, president and general manager of Infineon Raceway, during the Toyota/Save Mart 350 NASCAR race, which was won by

The 240-store supermarket chain, which is number two in market share in Northern California after number one Safeway Stores, In., and Infineon Raceway have a long partnership together: Save Mart has been either title sponsor or co-title sponsor of the NASCAR Sprint Cup event at Infineon Raceway since 1992.

Additionally, Save Mart has been either the title or co-title partner of the NASCAR annual Cup event - this year's Toyota/Save Mart 350 held Sunday -  in Sonoma for two decades, celebrating its 20th anniversary as a sponsor of NASCAR in Sonoma this year.

According to Save Mart CEO Bob Piccinini, Save Mart was the title sponsor of the NASCAR Cup event from 1992-1997. It has combined with partners as co-title sponsor of the event since 1998. The last five years, the event has been known as the Toyota/Save Mart 350.

Piccinini says the new agreement with the Sonoma County raceway announced Sunday is for five years, extending through 2016.

"We are excited to continue our partnership with Infineon Raceway as co-title sponsor of the Cup Series event and look forward to finding new ways to celebrate with racing fans across every community we serve," Piccinini, who's a rabid auto racing and sports fan - he's also a minority owner of the Golden State Warriors professional basketball team and the Arizona Diamondbacks and San Diego Padres pro- baseball teams - says. "Our sponsorship continues to build strong brand recognition and provide great value to our loyal supplier partners and shoppers. It's been a great ride so far and we are ready for more."

One of the ways Piccinini and Save Mart found to celebrate Sunday's Toyota/Save Mart 350 NASCAR Cup Series event, along with promoting the chain at he same time, was by featuring the grocer's 12-foot high "hot rod" shopping cart, which we wrote about in the story below on the blog. [See - June 28, 2011: Gentlemen ... Start Your Grocery Cart: Save Mart Supermarkets Goes 'Big' With 12-Foot High Motorized Shopping Cart.]

Save Mart's Lucky supermarket chain, which has 76 stores in the San Francisco Bay Area and elsewhere in Northern California, is the official grocery chain of the Golden State Warrior's for promotional purposes.

Earlier this year Piccinini, who invested in the team (an about 20% ownership stake, according to our sources) last fall as part of a new ownership group that bought out the team's previous owners for $450 million, was named a member of the Warrior's four-person executive board, which is headed by majority owners Joe Lacob and Peter Guber. Read the October 27, 2010 column by our 'The Insider' about the new owners and Piccinini's involvement here: Save Mart CEO Bob Piccinini Poised to Make it to the 'Bigs' as Member of Golden State Warriors' Ownership Group.

But back at the races, Steve Page, who runs Infineon Raceway in Sonoma Valley said in announcing th new five year deal with Save Mart Supermarkets he inked with Piccinini: "Our relationship with Save Mart continues to evolve in new and positive ways." They are an engaged, active and promotionally-oriented partner and the synergy between our respective organizations has only grown stronger over these 20-years. We couldn't be more delighted to announce this new agreement and extension."

Infineon Raceway is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Speedway Motorsports, Inc., which is a major marketer and promoter of motor-sports entertainment in the United States.

The new five year deal in which Save Mart will continue to sponsor the annual NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at Infineon Raceway, also means the grocery chain's 12-foot high motorized shopping cart, which is powered by a 454 cubic inch Chevy engine, will be getting a lot more use. And that's an added reason Save Mart should look into the world record-holding potential its giant shopping cart holds, as described in our story yesterday.

Related Stories

June 28, 2011: Gentlemen ... Start Your Grocery Cart: Save Mart Supermarkets Goes 'Big' With 12-Foot High Motorized Shopping Cart

June 19, 2011: Safeway Has A Picnic in San Francisco Featuring the 'World's Longest Picnic Table' to Showcase its 'Open Nature' Natural Foods' Brand

March 23, 2011: Tesco Opens First Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market Store in California's Northern Central Valley Today - in Modesto

March 19, 2011: Preview: Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market is Headed to Save Mart Supermarket's Hometown of Modesto

October 27, 2010: Save Mart CEO Bob Piccinini Poised to Make it to the 'Bigs' as Member of Golden State Warriors' Ownership Group

July 15, 2010: Just Like Mr. Rogers Did, Save Mart Supermarkets' Doesn't Just Talk the Talk, it Walks the Walk in the Neighborhood

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