TALLADEGA, Ala.–(HISPANIC PR WIRE)–April 26, 2004–Eastman Kodak Company announced recently it will sponsor Bobby Hamilton Racing’s No. 77 Dodge for the 2004 NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series races at the Music City Motorplex in Nashville, Tennessee. Eighteen-year-old Joe Henderson of Franklin, Tennessee was chosen from the Drive for Diversity program to drive the Kodak Perfect Touch Dodge. The team is owned by veteran NASCAR driver Bobby Hamilton.
The Radiate Group’s Access Marketing & Communications agency worked with NASCAR to develop the Drive for Diversity program, which serves as a driver and crew-development program for young racers from multicultural backgrounds.
“The Drive for Diversity program seeks to identify and create opportunities for people of color to share and develop in the NASCAR experience, and Kodak is extremely proud to help pioneer this program,” said Essie L. Calhoun, Kodak’s Chief Diversity Officer and Director of Community Affairs, and a Kodak vice president. “This is a unique learning experience for all the participants, as well as an event in which the Nashville racing community can take part.”
“NASCAR is fortunate to have great companies like Kodak supporting Drive for Diversity,” said NASCAR Chief Operating Officer George Pyne. “Kodak has a well-earned reputation of leadership in diversity and inclusion. NASCAR is aggressively promoting diversity at all levels of our sport, and Kodak’s participation in this important initiative will contribute to this long-term goal.”
Kodak has consistently earned recognition for its commitment to diversity and inclusion. Most recently, DiversityInc. named Kodak to its Top 50 Companies for Diversity for the fourth consecutive year. In February, the company was also recognized among Diversity Best Practices/Business Womens’ Network as a “Best of the Best – Corporate Awards for Diversity and Women” for 2004.
“Kodak and Bobby Hamilton Racing share our vision with NASCAR to create a pipeline of talented and well-trained minority drivers and crew members. Their support of our efforts will provide minority drivers and crew members the training and mentorship necessary to work their way to the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series,” said Daryl Stewart, General Manager, Access Marketing & Communications.
Like Kodak, Bobby Hamilton Racing is one of the first teams to support the inaugural Drive for Diversity program. Hamilton’s other teams compete in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. Hamilton currently drives the No. 4 Square D Dodge and is ranked ninth in the standings. Teammate Chad Chaffin, who drives the No. 18 Dickies Dodge, is ranked eighth. Hamilton, a four-time winner on the Nextel Cup circuit in his career, is also a co-owner of the No. 8 BHR 2 Dodge driven by Chase Montgomery. Bobby Hamilton drove the Kodak Film Racing Car for Morgan McClure Motorsports for three years in the late 1990’s. Bobby Hamilton Racing is based in Mt. Juliet, Tennessee.
“This is a very exciting day for me and the team at Bobby Hamilton Racing,” Hamilton said. “By partnering with Kodak, and to have a driver the caliber of Joe, we have great expectations for this program.”
In 2003, Henderson was a member of the Dodge Motorsports diversity program and the first African-American driver to compete in his division while capturing two top 10 finishes in three starts driving for Bobby Hamilton Racing at Fairgrounds Speedway in Nashville. He also competed in a full slate of Legends races at the speedway, finishing eighth in the year-end standings after earning three top five finishes and eight top ten finishes in 13 races. Also, Henderson competed in Legends races in Alabama, Georgia and Kentucky. In 2001 and 2002, he competed in Mini-Cup events throughout the Southeast, picking up one win, 17 top five finishes and 28 top ten finishes in just over 30 races.
“The Drive for Diversity program has provided me with the opportunity to work with Bobby Hamilton and Kodak,” Henderson said. “To be affiliated with Kodak is an honor and I am grateful for their support. Through their commitment, I can pursue racing fulltime. We are looking forward to a good season.”
In addition to racing, Henderson will graduate from Franklin High School and expects to attend Nashville Auto Diesel College in fall 2005. Bobby Hamilton Racing’s No. 77 Kodak Dodge carries identifiers for the Kodak Perfect Touch photofinishing service. This premium service uses digital technology to enhance consumers’ film pictures and correct red-eye in snapshots. The service is available through retailers across the U.S.
About Eastman Kodak Company and infoimaging:
Kodak is the leader in helping people take, share, print and view images — for memories, for information, for entertainment. The company is a major participant in infoimaging, a $385 billion industry composed of devices (digital cameras and flat-panel displays), infrastructure (online networks and delivery systems for images) and services & media (software, film and paper enabling people to access, analyze and print images). With sales of $13.3 billion in 2003, the company comprises several businesses: Health, supplying the healthcare industry with traditional and digital image capture and output products and services; Commercial Printing, offering on-demand color printing and networking publishing systems; Commercial Imaging, offering image capture, output and storage products and services to businesses and government; Display & Components, which designs and manufactures state-of-the- art organic light-emitting diode displays as well as other specialty materials, and delivers optics and imaging sensors to original equipment manufacturers; and Digital & Film Imaging Systems, providing consumers, professionals and cinematographers with digital and traditional products and services.
About The NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series
The NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series is contested at nearly 70 weekly short tracks from coast to coast. Drivers at each facility compete for local awards as well as a share of the $1.7 million annual point fund from NASCAR, Dodge and other participating sponsors. Tracks are divided into eight geographic regions, with drivers in each competing for a regional championship via the NASCAR Competition Performance Index (CPI), which tracks wins, top-five finishes and other statistics to form a regional ranking of drivers. At the end of the season, the racing records of the eight regional winners are compared to determine a national champion. Mark McFarland, of Winchester, Va., won the 2003 NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series national championship while competing in the Late Model Stock Car division at Virginia’s Old Dominion Speedway.
About The Radiate Group
The Radiate Group (http://www.radiategroup.com), a global network of independently branded, best-in-class marketing service agencies, operates within the DAS Division (Diversified Agency Services) of the Omnicom Group Inc. (NYSE:OMC) . Radiate’s agency partners specialize in delivering integrated, below the line marketing solutions for a variety of industries including sports, music, automotive, consumer goods and more. The Radiate network executes over 1,000 events per week and engages in over 40 million one-on-one consumer interactions annually. The company is headquartered in Boca Raton, Fla., with offices in North America, Europe and Latin America.
Source: Access Marketing & Communications
Eastman Kodak Company; David Kassnoff
Bobby Hamilton Racing; Beverly Hamilton
The Ulum Group; Pat Walsh
Web site: http://www.radiategroup.com/