ATLANTA After a five-year ad campaign urging Nascar driver Dale Jarrett to race the big, brown UPS truck, the Atlanta company is giving race fans a chance to do it first.
The latest edition of the popular racing game, Nascar 06, includes a feature that allows players to race the truck. The players can earn access to the feature by winning races on the video game or using a special code to get immediate access.
UPS already has product placement in the game as one of five sponsors who paid to have their company names and logos on the cars and signs around the racetrack. The other four are Dodge, Levi Strauss, Old Spice and Mr. Clean. UPS declined to say how much extra it paid for the added feature.
"No other Nascar sponsor has a brand asset similar to the big, brown UPS truck that is so fully integrated into a marketing campaign with a product placement of this nature," said Patrick Gilbert, the company's vice president of sponsorship and events.
EA Sports, the maker of the game, said it sold more than 1 million units of the title last year and expects to exceed that number this year. The game is most popular among men between the ages of 18 and 36.
UPS has sponsored a car in Nascar's Nextel Cup series since 1999 and is the official express delivery company of Nascar. The "Race the Truck" ad campaign was created by Interpublic Group's Martin Agency in Richmond, Va.