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 head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.