Archive for the ‘NASCAR’ tag

MKTG Named to IT LIST once again!

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We are thrilled to be included on Event Marketer Magazine’s Annual “IT LIST” of the top agencies in the US. Many thanks to the team at EM for your hard work on pulling this together and kudos to our MKTG family for all of your hard work and dedication to each other, our clients and partners and your commitment to being the best of the best! Check it out here.

 

Background from the editors of Event Marketer:

With hundreds of applications, it was no easy task to select the agencies featured in this year’s 15th annual It List.

As we pored over the applications, we were struck by a number of facts. First, our industry is growing, as evidenced by the increases in head count, office spaces and new business wins mentioned in so many applications. Then, there is the inordinate amount of time and resources devoted to staying on top of trends as agencies invest in new technologies and equipment, especially digital interactives. And of course, there are the people themselves, those tireless engines who know no bounds when it comes to creativity, strategy and know-how in order to deliver top-notch experiences for some of the most demanding clients ever. The work this year was outstanding.

It’s why our editorial team read, analyzed and scored each and every entry on a number of stringent criteria. Our top consideration: the percentage of agency work devoted exclusively to events. In an era of explosive growth, we recognized that there are a lot of shops out there with a sudden “expertise” in experiential, and so we were dead serious about checking their bonafides.

Then, we looked at the quality of the work, the creativity, the agency’s industry reputation and, of course, how well each agency had backed up its claims. It was as exciting to read updates on the veterans as it was to comb through the capabilities of the new kids on the block. And we weighed each in equal measure.

The one thing all of the agencies that made our list have in common? They are never satisfied with the status quo. They push toward goals they never thought achievable, burning the midnight oil to get every detail right. They’re the ones brands rely on to deliver unforgettable b-to-c and b-to-b experiences that forge lasting connections with consumers, colleagues and stakeholders. They’ve earned their place on our 15th annual It List and we take our hats off to each and every one of them.

Congratulations, and a job well done.

 

 

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Written by Stephanie Rudnick
Stephanie Rudnick

September 6th, 2017 at 11:40 am

NASCAR Speeds Into Downtown Chicago

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Photo by Ben Roth

One of America’s greatest sport towns just found a new, higher-octane passion — NASCAR, when MKTG INC helped bring Chase Grid Live to downtown Chicago.

The two-day fan fest gave NASCAR the perfect chance to flex its muscle as the 16 top drivers prepare for the last 10 races in the Chase for the Sprint Cup. Chase Grid Live featured stock-car displays, live broadcasts from ESPN and SiriusXM, sponsorship areas with partners like Toyota, Sprint and MARS, and, of course, some good old Chicago pizza and burgers provided by some of the city’s most popular food trucks. All the while DJ Johnny Walker kept the energy up as NASCAR footage looped on the giant SprintVision screen next to the stage.

Photo by Ben Roth

After battling a bit of rain on the first day, the clouds parted and the crowds appeared for a live concert from Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, presented by NASCAR’s sponsor, Toyota. It was the perfect opportunity for NASCAR to put their brand in front of a younger audience.

The second day was nonstop, with crowds showing up early to get autographs from NASCAR legend Rusty Wallace and see onstage interviews with up-and-coming NASCAR drivers. But the main event occurred as the 16 NASCAR Challengers pulled up to the event on the top of a double decker bus that had just paraded them down Michigan Avenue. Their Driver Nations went wild as they weaved through the crowd to board the stage. ESPN’s Jamie Little then hosted a Q&A with the drivers that caught them at their most personable and, frankly, comedic. There were lots of great insights into the upcoming races but the biggest crowd reaction probably came as Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson and the other top five drivers began goading fellow driver, Brad Keselowski, about his upcoming wedding. It was one of those great moments that makes you feel like you’re watching a bunch of friends having fun instead of a dull and staid press event. Keselowski went on to win the race, so the teasing may have fueled his fire!

Photo by Ben Roth

All in all, it was an amazing event in the eyes of both the fans and NASCAR.

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Bitcoin: A Layman’s Guide

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If you follow the news in tech, finance or pretty much anything else on the Internet chances are you’ve heard a relatively new term being batted around: bitcoin. While not actually that new, the term burst into the national consciousness in 2013 and so far in 2014 has been trending alongside the polar vortex, MH370 and various Russian antics.  Here is a quick 101 on what you need to know and what you can expect from the amorphous alt-currency world this year and beyond.
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So bitcoin. What is it?
Simply put, ‘bitcoin’ is a peer-to-peer digital currency.  It is made up of a web-based line of code “mined” from an increasingly difficult to solve mathematical riddle — that’s how it maintains its scarcity and therefore its value. Bitcoin was invented by an anonymous hacker and because no federal government or central bank controls it, the currency changes hands anonymously and crosses borders easily. Naturally, it was quickly adopted as a black market currency. Today though, bitcoin is an increasingly legitimate and rapidly changing ecosystem of technologies, exchanges, VCs, vendors and customers.

What’s the difference between bitcoin and Bitcoin?
Great question! bitcoin (lowercase b) refers to the currency itself, while Bitcoin (capital B) is the largest, most well-known service used to buy, sell, exchange and retain bitcoins (lowercase b) via digital “wallets.”

This sounds awesome, I want to go buy some right now. 
Not so fast. Because it’s backed strictly by the market (rather than gold, a central bank or an agency like the FDIC), the currency is notoriously volatile, giving many would-be investors pause. Just this year the exchange rate has fluctuated anywhere between $80 and $1,200. Compounding the issue is susceptibility to security flaws: the late Mt. Gox, once the world’s largest exchange, recently collapsed due to hacker meddling and mismanagement. So buyer beware.

Oh. 
Yeah, pump the brakes.

So how will it affect me?
Bitcoin ATMs are already popping up in major cities, and the currency has even begun to creep into many mainstream vendors, including Home Depot, CVS and Amazon. The Sacramento Kings recently became the first professional sports franchise to accept the currency, and one has to assume the forthcoming Levi’s Stadium in San Francisco will soon be on board as well. Bitcoin also bodes well for any brand with an interest in e-commerce; continued innovation of payment systems is rapidly reducing precious time spent at the point of sale. If you’re a believer, you can use bitcoin for most of your day-to-day purchases right now.

But why would I want to?
Fair question; and the truth is, many people will not.  Right now bitcoin is most attractive as an investment opportunity- a way to make a quick buck betting on the wild swings back and forth.  But as things stabilize many see virtual currency as the way forward for payment systems.  Picture this: you are in your seat at a Kings game, and want some nachos.  Soon you will be able to place the order from your smartphone and have it brought to you without ever exchanging cash or a credit card, even in the nosebleeds.

I already do that with Uber! 
Yes you do- but you pay with a standard credit card.  While you see no difference, bitcoin vendors like Bitpay are charging flat fees to merchants, rather than the standard credit card percentage.  Lower fees mean higher margins for merchants, which means the roster of bitcoin-friendly businesses will continue to grow.

Ok, fair enough.  What’s next?
Tough to say. Mt. Gox was a major black eye for supporters, but the momentum is tough to deny. Even NASCAR is getting in on the action; Bitcoin competitor Dogecoin (yes, that doge) has signed on as an official sponsor and will be featured this spring at Talladega on Josh Wise’s no. 98 Ford.

Long story short, the bitcoin world will look very different 5 years or even 1 year from now, but whatever it looks like it’s definitely not going anywhere. Though it has some major detractors (Warren Buffet and essentially every federal government in the world, to name a few) and flaws, enthusiasm is only building and savvy techies like Marc Andreessen, the Winklevoss twins and others with a vested interest are going to make sure it succeeds. When is anyone’s guess, but bitcoin will become a major player for consumers, marketers and brands alike.

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Rev Your Motors: The Chase for the Sprint Cup Is Here

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This past month, MKTG INC felt the need – the need for speed. The NASCAR Contenders live event, held at Chicago’s iconic Navy Pier Ballroom, brought together the top 12 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series™ drivers as they continued their journey toward a championship with only 10 races left. This action-packed event allowed fans to get up close and personal with top NASCAR drivers, including Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth and Kyle Busch. The event was hosted by Nicole Briscoe of ESPN’s NASCAR Countdown and featured an interactive Q&A with the sport’s top drivers, plus an exclusive Q&A with former NASCAR Cup champion and 2014 Hall of Fame Inductee Dale Jarrett, led by NASCAR president Mike Helton.
Miss Sprint Cup Kim Coon hosted the pre-show, and Top Gear’s Rutledge Wood was on hand to present the sweepstakes winner, Heather Ringbauer, with a brand-new Toyota Tundra. But the chase isn’t over yet – keep watching, it’s anyone’s race!

DSC_7191Photo Credit: Getty Images

This past month, MKTG INC felt the need – the need for speed. The NASCAR Contenders Live event, held at Chicago’s iconic Navy Pier Ballroom, brought together the top 12 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series™ drivers as they continued their journey toward a championship with only 10 races left. This action-packed event allowed fans to get up close and personal with top NASCAR drivers, including Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth and Kyle Busch. The event was hosted by Nicole Briscoe of ESPN’s NASCAR Countdown and featured an interactive Q&A with the sport’s top drivers, plus an exclusive Q&A with former NASCAR Cup champion and 2014 Hall of Fame Inductee Dale Jarrett, led by NASCAR president Mike Helton.

Miss Sprint Cup Kim Coon hosted the pre-show, and Top Gear’s Rutledge Wood was on hand to present the sweepstakes winner, Heather Ringbauer, with a brand-new Toyota Tundra.

But the chase isn’t over yet – keep watching, it’s anyone’s race!

Written by: Liz McKeon

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