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Mazda Inks Title Sponsorship Deal With Racing Venue to Form Mazda Raceway at Laguna Seca

IRVINE, CA -- In a move that emphatically highlights its ``Zoom Zoom'' brand positioning, Mazda North American Operations (MNAO) has inked a title sponsorship deal with the Sports Car Racing Association of the Monterey Peninsula (SCRAMP) to become the title sponsor of Mazda Raceway at Laguna Seca. With this agreement, Mazda becomes the first auto manufacturer to be the title sponsor of a major motorsports facility. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

As title sponsor of the Monterey, California race facility, Mazda once again forges new ground in the area of sports marketing. In the late '90s, Mazda's crossover into motocross with the title sponsorship of seven-time Supercross Champion Jeremy McGrath was the first by an automobile manufacturer. The sponsorship marks the return of Mazda to top-level motorsports, where the company was the first and only Japanese automobile manufacturer to win the 24-Hours of LeMans endurance race.

``Laguna Seca is America's premier road racing facility and one of the most recognized road courses in the world,'' said Charlie Hughes, president and CEO of MNAO. ``By renaming it the Mazda Raceway at Laguna Seca, we are demonstrating our full commitment to 'Zoom Zoom.'''

As part of the sponsorship, MNAO will utilize the track for new vehicle introductions, media and corporate hospitality, advertising and promotions, product development and employee training. Over the next few years, Mazda will unveil a series of new products that will further enhance its ``Zoom Zoom'' image.

If there is one characteristic that has typified Mazda in its 30-plus years in the U.S. market, it is the company's spirit of creativity and imagination. To remind consumers of this unique Mazda sense of fun and uninhibited joy, Mazda unveiled its new brand campaign, ``Zoom Zoom,'' last June.

During its 44 years, Laguna Seca has established itself as the premier road-racing track in North America. Worldwide, it is mentioned in the same breath with other historic tracks such as Le Mans, Indianapolis, Monaco, and Brands Hatch to name a few.

``We are excited that Mazda has decided to become a part of the Laguna Seca family with the first-ever automotive-track sponsorship of its kind,'' said John Stornetta, general manager at Laguna Seca. ``Over the years, they have proven their commitment to sports car racing and motorsports as a whole. As we enter our first year as Mazda Raceway at Laguna Seca, we believe that Mazda's support will allow us to take the track to the next level and allow us to embark on a capital improvement plan that will make it one of the finest racing facilities in the world.''

SCRAMP has operated Laguna Seca Raceway since its opening in 1957. The non-profit organization has utilized the raceway as a means to benefit local charitable and non-profit organizations while promoting economic vitality of the surrounding area. The results have been astounding, as SCRAMP has distributed almost $10 million to some 90 Monterey Peninsula charitable and service groups over four decades. SCRAMP and Laguna Seca have established themselves as the most important economic and charitable organization in Monterey County.

Mazda North American Operations is responsible for the sales and marketing, customer parts and service support of Mazda vehicles in the United States. Headquartered in Irvine, Calif., MNAO has over 700 dealerships nationwide.

SOURCE: Mazda North American Operations
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