LITTLE ROCK, Ark.- Alltel, owner of America's largest wireless network, announced today that it has signed an agreement to extend its sponsorship with Penske Racing South through 2008. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
"Our relationship with Penske Racing and Ryan Newman has provided invaluable exposure and creative marketing opportunities over the past six years to win new customers and strengthen relationships with existing ones," said Scott Ford, Alltel President and Chief Executive Officer. "We look forward to capitalizing on those opportunities even more this year and, with this extension, for many years to come."
Alltel has successfully leveraged its sponsorship with Penske Racing South over the last several years through a number of advertising, event marketing, interactive, promotional, public relations and customer hospitality initiatives. Based on the business-building success of those marketing initiatives, the company plans to enhance its activation of the sponsorship to drive awareness and consideration across its growing geographic footprint and to promote key brand promises, including America's Only Network Quality Guarantee and Anytime Plan Changes.
"Alltel has become synonymous with myself and the No. 12 Dodge in NASCAR Cup racing," Newman said. "They've been with us since the very beginning of this venture. They have always been very supportive of me, Matt (Borland, crew chief), the entire Alltel team and Penske Racing. Alltel stands by their service with America's only network quality quarantee and I stand by their quality as a sponsor in this series. I'm proud to be associated with Alltel and to have them on the No. 12 Dodge."
Alltel joined Penske Racing South and then an unknown Newman in 2000 when the team was running a limited ARCA schedule prior to its debut in the NASCAR Cup Series. The team competed in a precedent-setting "ABC" schedule, running races in the ARCA, NASCAR Busch and Cup series, in 2001. The 2002 season saw the No. 12 Alltel Dodge team hit the Cup circuit full-time, collecting a victory in the series' all-star race as well as its first points race victory at New Hampshire International Speedway. At season's end, Newman earned Rookie-of-the-Year honors.
Following Alltel's sixth season with Penske Racing South and Newman in 2005, the team has amassed 12 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series, seven NASCAR BUSCH Series and four ARCA victories. In its 152 Cup series starts, the Alltel team has collected an amazing 35 pole positions, 52 top-five and 76 top-10 finishes. In four full seasons of Cup competition, the team has finished no lower than seventh in the series' final point standings.
"Penske Racing South is excited and proud to have the opportunity to continue our successful relationship with Alltel," said Roger Penske. "Alltel has been a terrific sponsor with great products, services and people. We look forward to providing the Alltel employees, their customers and their race fans with many more victories over the next several years."