Branson will be making its NASCAR debut this Sunday during the Buschy McBusch Race 400 at the Kansas Speedway in Kansas City.
For the 2 p.m. race on May 2, the No. 15 Joey Gase racing car will be wrapped in red, white and blue, and sporting the Branson, Missouri logo on the hood and the explorebranson.com website on the sides and roof of the car.
In a press release, Gase said he’s added Branson to his list of favorite vacation destinations.
“I am extremely excited to be teaming up with explorebranson.com this weekend at my home track for the Cup Series,” said Gase in the release. “Branson is a well-known vacation spot for anyone in the Midwest and I am happy to help get the news out about all their new rides, attractions, shows and golf courses. I can’t wait to take Jace and Carson there this year.”
Branson Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce & CVB President and CEO Jason Outman explained that the sponsorship came to be when they were approached about an opportunity to work with Gase.
“He is from Cedar Rapids, Iowa and he is a part of the Rick Ware Racing team. His home track is actually considered the Kansas Motor Speedway in Kansas City. When he had an opportunity for a sponsorship this weekend, we were — through some of our different channels — made aware of it,” said Outman. “Kansas City and Cedar Rapids, Iowa is a big drive market for Branson, Missouri. We thought about what a great opportunity to represent someone that is at a home track and that is close to Branson.”
Outman said they then contacted Gase and spoke to him about the sponsorship.
“It presented itself as something unique and something that would be great for Branson to really push out to our demographic that comes and visits us, that we are NASCAR fans and we are open for business and we just want everybody to know that Branson is a great place to visit,” said Outman. “We were able to work with Joey and we’re looking forward to seeing his wrapped car this weekend at the Kansas Motor Speedway.”
Outman also explained that this sponsorship is a one and done kind of opportunity.
“We have obviously limited funds and so this was an opportunity that we were able to work out with Joey. Really when we looked at the opportunity and we saw the potential PR and Media outreach that would come with this. The race will be on Fox Sports, FS1. We’re getting a lot of social media output through not just the Joey Gase team, the racing team, but also the Kansas Speedway, because that is considered his home track,” said Outman. “Obviously just with the look of the car and really pushing out that big Branson, Missouri logo we just looked at this as a one time opportunity to really promote Branson to a demographic that really visits us often. We thought it was just a great, fun and exciting opportunity.
While Outman couldn’t share the actual cost of the sponsorship, he was able to narrow it down.
“Because it was a one time deal and because it was the Monday before the race, it was a very minimal percentage of what we actually spend on marketing. If you look at it, (Fox Sports 1) typically sells like a 30 second TV spot commercial during a race at about $41,000,” said Outman. “I can tell you we paid less than that and we will have the full coverage of the race car. It wasn’t actually as much as people think. Compared to a year long sponsorship, it was a small percentage. Again, for the return on investment that we’ll get through public relations and media it was worth the expense.”
The money used by the chamber for this sponsorship, Outman said came by way of the Tourism Community Enhancement District.
“It comes out of the marketing money that we receive from the TCED,” said Outman. “That money is to be spent outside of a 30 mile radius of Branson and specifically to promote tourism to the region. It will come out of the TCED money for Explore Branson.”
Representing Branson at the Kansas Speedway this weekend will be Branson Chamber & CVB Board Chairman-Elect Joe Loth, CEO of Central Bank of Branson.
“We had an opportunity for four tickets, so they will be able to be in the sponsors suite and they are just going to be able to have a great time. The pits are closed, so nobody can go into the pits because of COVID-19,” said Outman. “But we will have Branson representation in the suite, wearing Branson shirts and really just helping promote us as a great place.”
Outman added that he would encourage everyone to watch the race this Sunday and show their support for Joey Gase.
“For one weekend (Gase) is going to be a Branson resident, so watch the race, support him and lets hope he finishes good and finishes the race and wish him well being,” said Outman. “It’s a fun opportunity. A one time event. It didn’t cost that much, so we’re excited to bring this to our demographic that visits Branson on a regular basis.”