TI Taking First Ride as Nascar Sponsor

DALLAS Texas Instruments’ entry into Nascar sponsorship marks a new marketing approach for the microchip maker, the company said.

As primary sponsor of the Hall of Fame Racing team in the 2006 Nascar Nextel Cup Series, TI will focus its efforts on its Digital Light Processing (DLP) technology used in high-definition television, the company said.

The Texas Instruments DLP HDTV car from Hall of Fame Racing will premiere at the Daytona 500 on Feb. 19.

Hall of Fame Racing was formed by three-time Super Bowl winning quarterback Troy Aikman, Hall of Fame and two-time Super Bowl winning quarterback Roger Staubach, and businessman and veteran Trans Am driver Bill Saunders.

The multi-year relationship between TI and Hall of Fame Racing includes an agreement with Joe Gibbs Racing, one of the most successful teams in the Nascar Nextel Cup Series, to provide cars, engines, personnel, technology and racing support services, the team said. Hall of Fame Racing is reviewing drivers and crew, which are expected to be announced within the next few months, the team said.

Companies such as Mitsubishi, Panasonic, Samsung, Sharp, Toshiba and TTE under its RCA brand make DLP HDTVs, the company said.

The deal represents a new direction for TI in direct-to-consumer marketing of its technology, the company said. Dallas-based TI said it hopes to educate consumers about the benefits of DLP technology for HDTV. The company plans to build DLP HDTV awareness through nationwide advertising, key events and at retail.

“DLP technology gives Nascar fans the ultimate high-definition viewing of the races and we look forward to showcasing DLP HDTV during the 2006 Nascar season,” said John Van Scoter, senior vice president of TI and general manager of DLP Products.

TI last year launched its first consumer-oriented TV spot for DLP during football season. The spot showed a referee unable to determine through instant replay if a call on the field was correct. He calls his wife at home, who has the game on her DLP-equipped TV. She makes the call because the image on her screen is so clear. The TV spot was created by TM Advertising in Irving, Texas, a few months before TI selected JWT Technology in Atlanta as its new agency in February.