So far, so good. That's the message from IZOD and the Indy Racing League about their current partnership going into this Sunday's Indianapolis 500.
Mike Kelly, executive vice president of marketing for IZOD's parent company Phillips-Van Heusen, and IRL commercial division president Terry Angstadt held court earlier today and talked about the clothing company's present and future plans for pushing the '500' and the series to the mainstream.
With the aid of a PowerPoint presentation, Kelly explained why PVH/IZOD decided to get into the sport and why they looked at IndyCar as "a new egg" to promote, not a cracked one that was glued back together with unification of the IRL and Champ Car in 2008.
"Often times, when you hear people talk about unification...It's almost like hearing about Humpty Dumpty falling off the wall," he said. "There was a break, there was a crack, the egg fell apart, and with unification, the egg would somehow be put back together. We kind of reject that notion. We think times have changed with this new competitive set and new environment.
"What this requires is a new egg that further requires some new thinking. I'm speaking from a marketing point of view, not in terms of operations or chassis or engines or all those matters. We're simply marketers."
After Kelly's presentation -- which also featured a sneak peek at the conclusion of IZOD's cornerstone 'Race to the Party', set to air twice during ABC's '500' broadcast' on Sunday -- he and Angstadt took questions on whether IZOD would create a series of ads to promote the sport to women, how the company plans to work with the future engine/chassis combination for IndyCar, and their input in helping the IRL develop their schedule.
On the matter of creating the scheudle, Angstadt reported that all elements were in "constant communication" over deciding which markets to move into.
"We wouldn't dream of going into a market without checking with not only IZOD, but also the [team] owners, and the key sponsors and suppliers," he said. "The complexity of building a schedule is amazing. There are so many different aspects of consideration that go into that, not the least of which is attempting to deliver our product to a big DMA and exposing more people to what we do first-hand. There's absolutely lots of collaboration on all of those fronts."