Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Crown Royal® & Country Music Star Rodney Atkins to Unveil Winner of Naming Rights to April 30 Race Through Song

Rich_Intl_Raceway_C_thumb (RICHMOND, Va.) Feb. 8th, 2011 – Before the green flag drops for the most celebrated race of the NASCAR season at Daytona International Speedway®, the racing world will be tuning into country music star Rodney Atkins to hear whose name will be splashed on the Richmond race this season. Today, the makers of Crown Royal Canadian whisky, a subsidiary of Diageo plc (NYSE: DEO), ask fans to visit NASCAR.com now until February 13th to decide which of five American heroes will receive naming rights to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway on Saturday, April 30th, 2011.

All five finalists from various branches of the military have been selected to receive an all-expenses-paid trip to Daytona to attend a special performance where country music star Rodney Atkins will unveil the grand-prize winner. The finalists, in no specific order, are:

  • Richard Coffland, U.S. Army & Army National Guard (retired), Grand Coulee, Wash.
  • Matthew Hansen, U.S. Marine Corps, San Marcos, Calif.
  • Casey Traxler, U.S. Army (retired), Mooresville, N.C.
  • Cindy Shelton, U.S. Air Force (retired), San Antonio, Texas
  • Mark Brown, Knob Noster, Mo.
Atkins will use his award-winning vocals to unveil the winner of the Crown Royal “Your Name Here” 400 contest by incorporating the winner’s name into one of his songs. Those in attendance of the event could hear the country crooner sing “It’s a welcome home parade for Richard Coffland,” or “Cindy Shelton grew up down by the railroad tracks,” it will be a surprise until the performance.

The finalists were selected from nominations submitted by friends, family and fellow comrades that illustrated what makes them a hero. Their stories include a female trailblazer in the Air Force’s information technology field, a twin who continues to serve even after his other half was killed in the line of duty, and a service member who selflessly protected members of his unit when their base was under attack. Fans of legal drinking age are encouraged to visit www.NASCAR.com/CrownRoyal to read a complete background on the finalists and to cast a vote. Voting ends Sunday, February 13th.

“Crown Royal has received such positive feedback from NASCAR fans on the ‘Your Name Here’ program over the years, so it is only fitting that we let the fans decide which American hero’s name will appear on the race at Richmond,” said Yvonne Briese, Crown Royal Brand Director. “Whether at home or overseas, this year’s finalists have gone above and beyond the call of duty to serve their country, and are truly remarkable human beings. We’re rolling out the “purple carpet” at Daytona to thank them for their service, and can’t wait to see the grand-prize winner’s face when Rodney Atkins sings their name.”

Along with all the activities surrounding the race in Richmond and its sponsorship of the No. 17 Roush Fenway Ford Fusion, driven by 2009 Daytona 500 Champion Matt Kenseth, Crown Royal will continue to fully integrate its “Please Drink Responsibly” messaging into all of its NASCAR-themed initiatives, including its signature “Safe Rides Home” designated-driver event that has provided thousands of race fans rides home throughout the years.

“The partnership with Richmond International Raceway and Crown Royal’s ‘Your Name Here’ contest has been a huge success and this year is going to be even better than ever,” said Doug Fritz, president of Richmond International Raceway.  “We look forward to continuing this great tradition by honoring another American hero at an exciting weekend at America’s Premier Short Track, April 28-30.”
The winner will be announced from Daytona on February 18th. In addition to Rodney Atkins, NASCAR driver Matt Kenseth and representatives from Crown Royal and Richmond International Raceway will be in attendance.


About Crown Royal
Crown Royal Canadian whisky is the number one selling Canadian whisky brand in the US by value and has a tradition as long and distinctive as its taste. Specially blended to commemorate a grand tour of Canada made by King George VI and Queen Elizabeth of Great Britain in 1939, Crown Royal Canadian whisky's smooth, elegant style reflects its aristocratic origins and is considered the epitome of Canadian whisky. The Crown Royal Company is a primary sponsor of the No. 17 Roush Fenway Ford Fusion driven by Matt Kenseth. For more information visit www.crownroyal.com. Crown Royal encourages all rodeo fans to please enjoy responsibly.


About Diageo
Diageo (Dee-AH-Gee-O) is the world's leading premium drinks business with an outstanding collection of beverage alcohol brands across spirits, wines and beer categories. These brands include Johnnie Walker, Guinness, Smirnoff, J&B, Baileys, Cuervo, Tanqueray, Captain Morgan, Crown Royal, Beaulieu Vineyard and Sterling Vineyards wines.

Diageo is a global company, trading in more than 180 countries around the world. The company is listed on both the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: DEO) and the London Stock Exchange (DGE).
For more information about Diageo, its people, brands, and performance, visit us at Diageo.com. For our global resource that promotes responsible drinking through the sharing of best practice tools, information and initiatives, visit DRINKiQ.com.


About Richmond International Raceway
Richmond International Raceway, known as America’s Premier Short Track, offers exciting night racing action and a commitment to the fan experience. One of the most popular facilities among drivers and fans in all of motorsports, Richmond International Raceway annually hosts all of its major events—two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races, two NASCAR Nationwide Series events and one NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race—under the lights on its ¾-mile D-Shaped oval. The unique layout consistently produces the thrill of side-by-side racing, coupled with high enough speeds for a superspeedway feel. Combined with first-class amenities (including the state-of-the-art Video Scoring Tower) and a focus on the fans, guests at Richmond International Raceway can expect to experience what “Racing Perfection” truly is. For tickets to events at Richmond International Raceway, call 866-455-RACE or visithttp://www.rir.com online. Find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @RIRInsider .


About Rodney Atkins
Curb Records recording artist Rodney Atkins has been successfully leading the country music charts and selling albums since his career began in 2006 when he hit the scene with his first number one, “If You’re Going Through Hell,” which was also the Number One Country Song of the Year according to Billboard in 2006.  The East Tennessee native has recorded three studio albums, Honesty, If You’re Going Through Hell and It’s America and charted seven Top 20 singles including five number one’s: “If You’re Going Through Hell,” “Watching You,” “These Are My People,” “Cleaning This Gun (Come On In),” and “It’s America.”  Atkins’ current single “Farmer’s Daughter” tour up the charts and kept the “buy” button at iTunes steady. 

Atkins recently released an exclusive album with Cracker Barrel that features four number one hits including “Farmer’s Daughter” and an unreleased song. Atkins was the 2010 spokesman for the National Council for Adoption and is heavily involved within the organization. He was also the 2010 spokesman for the Chevy Silverado.  Kraft Velvetta sponsored his “Best Side of Dinner” tour last summer and he was featured as the writer/singer on the national ad campaign for Velvetta Shells and Cheese. For more information on Rodney Atkins, visit www.rodneyatkins.com.

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