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New Sharpie® Professional Marker Inks Title Sponsorship of Spring Busch Series Race at Bristol

Nov 11, 2003

Sharpie values its relationship with Bristol Motor Speedway (BMS) and race fans, so much in fact, the popular brand of permanent markers today announced it has inked a three-year title sponsorship of yet another major event at "The World's Fastest Half-Mile."  The "Sharpie Professional 250" is now the March stop for the Busch Grand National Series at BMS and will be headlined by the next generation product from the leader in permanent markers - the Sharpie Professional - a rugged new chisel tip marker that writes on wet and oily surfaces. "With Sharpie's 40th anniversary coming in 2004, our awesome connection with the folks at BMS and the unbelievable fans, we wanted to celebrate this milestone and the new Sharpie Professional marker by getting involved with another great NASCAR event," said Bob Parker, president, Sharpie Group.  "The Sharpie Professional marker has industrial ink and an ultra-tough design that can take a beating just like the cars at Bristol.  We are certain that this new family of markers will be a staple in the garage, both during race weekends and in homes across the country."

Sharpie is also the title sponsor of the Sharpie 500 NASCAR Nextel Cup event at BMS, the premiere summer night race.  Sharpie recently extended its sponsorship of the August race through 2008.

"Because we strive to make every sponsorship at Bristol Motor Speedway a success for our marketing partners, Sharpie's decision to expand its sponsorship to promote the Sharpie Professional marker brand during the spring race weekend is very gratifying," said Jeff Byrd, president and general manager, Bristol Motor Speedway. 

"We take special pride that Sharpie is sponsoring major events during both the spring and August race weekends through at least 2006."

Sharpie is planning the race week's activities now that will include 40th anniversary festivities, sampling of the new markers, multiple interactive areas, exciting consumer promotions and the return of BMS defending champion Kurt Busch, driver of

"We have won three out of the last four times at Bristol," said Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 97 Sharpie Ford in the Winston Cup series.  "I look forward to seeing if another Busch - my brother Kyle - can sign victory lane at the Sharpie Professional 250.  Sharpie is such a great sponsor to be aligned with since they truly focus their efforts on the fans."

The Sharpie Professional marker, in stores in December, comes in 1-, 2- and 3-packs (black, blue and red) and starts at a suggested retail price of $2.09.  

For more information on Sharpie and Sharpie racing, visit

About Sharpie and Sanford

The Sharpie® marker, invented in 1964, is the popular family of permanent markers. Sanford, maker of Sharpie permanent markers, is a business unit of Newell Rubbermaid Inc. (NYSE: NWL).The Company is a worldwide leader in the manufacturing and marketing of writing instruments, including such well known brands as Paper Mate®, Colorific®, Parker®, Waterman®, EXPO® and uni-ball®, among others. Sanford makes more than 6,000 products ranging from markers, pens and pencils to professional art products and fine writing instruments. Headquartered in Bellwood, Ill., the Company has approximately 10,000 employees worldwide. For more information on Sanford and its family of brands, please visit or call 800.323.0749.

About Bristol Motor Speedway and Speedway Motorsports, Inc.

Bristol Motor Speedway, a .533-mile high-banked oval, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Speedway Motorsports, Inc.  Speedway Motorsports is a leading marketer and promoter of motorsports entertainment in the U.S.  SMI owns and operates the following premiere facilities: Atlanta Motor Speedway, Bristol Motor Speedway, Infineon Raceway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Lowe's Motor Speedway and Texas Motor Speedway.  SMI also provides souvenir merchandising services through its SMI Properties subsidiary, and manufactures and distributes smaller-scale, modified racing cars through its 600 Racing subsidiary.  The Company also owns Performance Racing Network, which broadcasts syndicated motorsports programming to over 750 stations nationwide.  For more information, visit the Speedway Motorsports website at

For more information contact Susan Wassel at 630-481-2018, or email