Thursday, March 8, 2012

A Minor, Yet Satisfying, Local Victory

Two weeks ago, I started working on 33 Days, 33 Sponsors--a pledge to write a single INDYCAR sponsor (current, lapsed, or prospective) each day through the start of the season in St. Pete. So far, it's gone very well. I've received a lot of emails and messages from folks working on their own efforts, and it's great to hear sponsors like Fuzzy's Vodka, Bowers and Wilkins, Novo Nordisk, and even Mazda respond. There are plenty more sponsors to be reached, and if you're just finding out about, there's no time like the present to start.

One of the first sponsors I wrote was Meijer. Meijer has been involved in INDYCAR for some time (currently as a Penske Racing sponsor), and they're also one of my favorite "super-stores" to visit when I have to go shopping. Now, I live in a suburb of Indianapolis, so you'd think being an INDYCAR sponsor located right outside the Racing Capital of the World, their store would have some manner of IndyCar merchandise.

Sadly, this has not been the case. Sure, they'll hang the banners with the Penske Racing drivers and the like, but for actual INDYCAR or IMS merchandise, there hasn't been much. For a store that stocks both Hot Wheels and Greenlight diecast, it's pretty disappointing there hasn't been as much as one toy IndyCar in the store for over a year now.

So, aside from writing Meijer Corporate, I also wrote our local store's manager, explaining I was an INDYCAR fan and a loyal Meijer customer who really wanted to support INDYCAR through purchasing items at his store. I explained if nothing else, there were a number of toy models through Hot Wheels and the like he could stock, for starters. I explained INDYCAR fans were a loyal bunch, and that if he supported us, we'd support his store in return.

Flash forward to last weekend, on a Sunday evening grocery run to our Meijer. I decided to look in the toy section with the kids, which is when I saw this:

Hello, beautiful.
Maybe coincidence, maybe not, but it was the first time I'd seen any sort of INDYCAR presence in the toy aisle since before the 2011 season. A baby step, yes, but hopefully it's the start of something bigger. If there's any way to make my town a veritable INDYCAR bastion, I'll do it.

I wrote a followup note to my local store manager, providing him the receipt from purchasing the IndyCar diecast cars they currently had in stock). If you're in the Noblesville, Indiana area (and I know at least a couple of you are), feel free to add your voice by sending a letter to:

Noblesville Meijer
Attention: Store Manager
17000 Mercantile Blvd
Noblesville, IN 46060

Thanks for helping out, and remember: you never know what action will put an effort over the top.


  1. Brian McKay in FloridaMarch 9, 2012 at 11:16 PM

    I've never seen a Meijer or Macy's store. But I've never seen IndyCar merchandise or signage trumpeting IndyCar sponsorship in a Target store, Verizon store, Subway Store, Domino's store, McDonald's restaurant... In one Firestone store years ago I saw a Scott Pruett-era Firestone IndyCar banner.

  2. That doesn't sound too shabby. I've seen some nice displays in Verizon before. Target seems hit or miss...