Product Placement Floors It


If it’s true that opposites attract, then a licensing agreement between Harlequin Romance novels and NASCAR Inc., should be a marriage made in heaven.
The first offspring of this new union, a racetrack romance entitled In the Groove by Pamela Britton, goes on sale just a few weeks before the Daytona 500 on Feb. 19. Two other NASCAR-themed love stories will be published this year: On the Edge by Britton in September and A NASCAR Holiday by Kimberly Raye, Roxanne St. Claire and Debra Webb in November. At least 17 more, by various authors, are planned for 2007.
“It’s a partnership between two extremely brand-loyal groups,” says Kerry Tharp of NASCAR. “We’re trying to reach out and do more to appeal to our female fan base.”
NASCAR fans buy $2 billion in licensed products annually. Harlequin devotees bought 130 million books last year.
“It’s a very good fit,” agrees Marleah Stout of Harlequin, pointing out that women account for 40% of the sport’s fan base.

About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am now head of brand strategy and creative direction at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.