Corporate Sponsor Testimonials


- Joe Antonini, former CEO Kmart

- Joe Antonini, former CEO Kmart

Kmart, through its biggest period of growth, was a loyal partner of the Newman/Haas Racing team and its drivers, and used that partnership to drive record sales, good will and investment return for its stores, its retail partners, its consumers and its employees. Joe Antonini, Kmart CEO, spearheaded the program during its launch and growth...

"There is nothing better than showing how activation can spur growth and product development, and no one platform was better for Kmart than what we did with Newman/Haas Racing," Antonini said. "It was their combination of elite drivers like Mario and Michael Andretti, combined with an ownership team that understood what our needs were and how to execute them, that made the partnership so successful. That combination is hard to find anywhere in business, but Carl Haas and his group took the time to find ways not just to deliver, but to over deliver on every level and we were very pleased to work with them."

Antonini pointed to three key prongs developed during their partnership that created the successful formula. All done hand in glove with the Newman/Haas Racing management team. They included participation in race day, the activation of sponsorship at levels through their stores and the growth in revenue tied to having a partner which took the time to understand the value of execution and what was needed be a success.

The results created a windfall for all involved. Kmart saw market share, not just for their 2,500 stores, but for their partner brands, increase over four percent, traffic in stores around activation events went up tenfold whether the race was in that region or not that weekend, employee moral rose dramatically, and the Kmart brand had a double digit growth in consumer awareness than prior to the partnership.

The former CEO pointed specifically to two brand partners, Texaco and Gillette, who significantly benefitted from the partnership. “The pass through value of our benefits through exposure in over 70 million flyers, the ability to create regional promotions and tie it to races all over the country was invaluable to brands like Texaco and Gillette," he added. "The ability to associate with Newman/Haas Racing and provide not just their sales staff, but those who were making a decision on discretionary buying, made any spend that was put forward worthwhile, and as a result those two brands grew dramatically, with a direct tie to what Kmart brought and Newman/Haas Racing executed."

Even in today’s challenging times for retail, Antonini added that the execution of programs with Newman/Haas Racing would continue to make great sense. “Today’s economy is all about value added and at what cost,” he said. “The greatest thing about our partnership was that we could show ancillary return on investment, and that was totally driven by the leadership of Carl Haas and his drivers on execution. Many groups…athletes, pro sports teams, those in racing…would take your check and leave it to you to do the work. The difference with Newman/Haas Racing was that they understood the value of delivering, and in today’s economy that value is invaluable and is what would continue to make them the gold standard for sponsor partnerships.

« Back

Schedule a WebEx

Media Information

Commercial Operations