Jan 28, 2010 at 11:31 PM
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ISC Sponsorships On Track For 2010

International Speedway Corporation, which owns and operates NASCAR race tracks throughout the nation, today reported that net income dropped 73% to $9 million in the fourth quarter of 2009 from $33.6 million in 2008 thanks to light consumer spending and declining corporate sponsorships. However, ISC reports signs that sidelined corporate budgets from 2009 are beginning to loosen up for 2010.

"From a corporate spending perspective, we are pleased with the sales trend," ISC President John Saunders said. "The Daytona 500 is experiencing better than anticipated corporate partnership sales."

ISC has agreements secured for approximately 73% of its gross marketing partnership revenue target, compared to 71% last year at this time. While ISC expects corporate sponsorship to be flat to down in the mid single digits year over year, the company expects hospitality to lag (y/y) in the high single digits to low teens.

Saunders continued: "We are seeing new entrants into the sport and are also doing deals with companies that are again partnering with ISC, such as UAW and Valvoline on a renewal standpoint we have recently secured a deal with Hp Hood. We are also doing deals with new partners to our sport, such as Hershey’s milk ad we have expanded the VFWs partnership with ISC into an entitlement sponsor. The team has been very active in prospecting and their hard work is paying dividends."

ISC reports that there are still four Sprint Cup events and three Nationwide events in need of title sponsorship for the 2010 season. CEO Lesa France Kennedy said that ISC was in virtually the same position at this time last year and ended up selling all title sponsorships for 2009.

Aside from a weaker spending environment, ISC has been plagued by its investment in Motorsports Authentics, a merchandising joint venture, which it wrote down to zero at a cost of $77.6 million to its 2009 balance sheet.