Office Depot Offers One-of-a-Kind Opportunity for Customers to Become the ‘Official Small...

Office Depot Offers One-of-a-Kind Opportunity for Customers to Become the ‘Official Small Business of NASCAR’

Promotion Supported By New NASCAR-Themed Advertising and Marketing Campaign


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Delray Beach, FL–(HISPANIC PR WIRE – BUSINESS WIRE)–February 9, 2005–Office Depot (NYSE:ODP), one of the world’s leading resellers of office products, is launching a unique promotion offering customers the chance to become the “Official Small Business of NASCAR” courtesy of Office Depot. This new promotion, showcased in Office Depot’s first NASCAR television advertising campaign, breaks new ground by using NASCAR to reach small businesses — the core customer base for Office Depot.

The “Official Small Business of NASCAR” promotion and accompanying ad campaign are central components in Office Depot’s multi-faceted Taking Care of Business marketing and brand positioning program. Last month, Office Depot introduced NASCAR as its new sports sponsorship platform, entering into a multi-year agreement with NASCAR to become the sport’s first-ever Official Office Products Partner. In addition, beginning with the Daytona 500 (Feb. 20, FOX, 1 p.m.), Office Depot is the primary sponsor of the No. 99 Office Depot Ford Taurus for a minimum of nine races in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series and an associate sponsor for the remaining races in the season.

“Office Depot is aggressively activating our NASCAR sponsorship by looking for interesting ways to integrate our marketing efforts into many different facets of our business,” said Chuck Rubin, Executive Vice President and Chief Merchandising/Marketing Officer for Office Depot. “Every component of our sponsorship – from the national sweepstakes and ad campaign to our in-store activities and online initiatives — is about directly impacting our core business customers.”

Official Small Business of NASCAR Promotion

Office Depot’s new NASCAR-themed ad campaign debuts on February 12 with a television spot titled “Bumper.” The “Bumper” spot, created by BBDO New York, focuses on one of the most unique national promotions in the sports world: small business owners getting the chance to become the “Official Small Business of NASCAR” courtesy of Office Depot.

As part of this once-in-a-lifetime experience, the winning business will have its company name featured on the No. 99 Office Depot Ford Taurus that will be driven by Carl Edwards on May 7 at Darlington Raceway, one of the most storied racetracks in the country.

As the “Official Small Business of NASCAR”, the winner will be granted the rights to use a specially designed logo that features the “Official Small Business of NASCAR courtesy of Office Depot” mark to help promote its business on select materials such as business cards, letterhead and stationery. The winner will also receive a $1,000 Office Depot Shopping Spree; a VIP race package at Darlington Raceway, including race tickets and the chance to meet Edwards and the No. 99 Roush Racing team; and autographed race memorabilia.

“Office Depot’s ‘Official Small Business of NASCAR’ winner will be able to directly tap into the NASCAR brand to enhance and grow his or her own business,” said Tony Ueber, Vice President of Marketing Strategy for Office Depot. “We believe that this promotion has tremendous appeal for our core customers – many of whom are small businesses as well as NASCAR fans.”

Customers can enter the “Official Small Business of NASCAR” courtesy of Office Depot sweepstakes by filling out a form at computer workstations in any one of Office Depot’s more than 900 stores nationwide, or online at http://www.officedepot.com/racing. The promotion is open to small businesses with no more than 99 employees, and runs through April 10, 2005. No purchase is necessary. A complete set of rules and restrictions can be found at http://www.officedepot.com/racing.

New Ad Campaign

The debut of the Office Depot “Bumper” spot is timed to coincide with the start of Speedweeks at the Daytona 500 that marks the beginning of the NEXTEL Cup race season. “Bumper,” the first in a series of television spots from Office Depot, will air during race telecasts through March 20. A second NASCAR-themed commercial will follow in April.

Filmed at the Daytona International Speedway in January, the “Bumper” spot showcases many genuine facets of the world’s most thrilling sport, including pit stops and the No. 99 Office Depot Ford Taurus racing around the track at 187 miles per hour. Fans will find the ad to be truly authentic – as it has no actors and even uses the actual No. 99 pit crew. It also includes Alan Bestwick, one of the most recognized voices of NASCAR, as the racing announcer. Dave McNally of Omaha Pictures, a veteran of NASCAR commercial shoots, directed the commercial.

Commenting on the advertising, Ed Maslow, Sr. Creative Director at BBDO New York, said: “It is authentic racing, right down to the smell of the track. We want to show that Office Depot understands NASCAR and is an integral part of the Roush Racing team. That should be appealing to NASCAR’s 75 million fans.”

Integrated Marketing Activities

While the “Bumper” television ad serves to introduce customers to Office Depot’s exclusive “Official Small Business of NASCAR” sweepstakes, the company is also undertaking an extensive marketing campaign to highlight the promotion across multiple channels including radio spots, special in-store signage (including life-size Carl Edwards figures), online advertising and email marketing, and prominence in Office Depot’s national circulars reaching more than 30 million households nationwide.

Office Depot is also debuting a new website:

http://www.officedepotracing.com where race fans can follow news of Carl Edwards and the No. 99 race team all season long. Fans can watch video interviews with Edwards, get a sneak peak behind the scenes of the new Office Depot commercial, download screensavers of Edwards and the No. 99 Office Depot Ford Taurus and enter the “Official Small Business of NASCAR” courtesy of Office Depot sweepstakes.

NOTE TO EDITORS: Further information concerning Office Depot’s sponsorship of NASCAR can be found at http://mediarelations.officedepot.cc/racing/

About Office Depot

With annual sales of more than $12 billion, no one sells more office supplies to more customers in more countries than Office Depot. Founded in 1986 and headquartered in Delray Beach, Fla., the company conducts business in 23 countries and employs nearly 50,000 people worldwide.

Office Depot is a leader in every distribution channel – from retail stores and contract delivery to catalogs and e-commerce. The company is the world’s number three online retailer – on track to generate $3B in sales for FY’04. In North America, Office Depot has 923 retail stores in addition to a national business-to-business delivery network supported by 22 delivery centers, more than 60 local sales offices and 13 regional call centers.

The company’s common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol ODP and is included in the S&P 500 Index. Additional press information can be found at: http://mediarelations.officedepot.com.

About Roush Racing

Roush Racing is a subsidiary of Livonia Mich., based Roush Industries that operates ten motorsports teams; five in NASCAR Nextel Cup with drivers Mark Martin, Matt Kenseth,

Kurt Busch, Greg Biffle and Carl Edwards; three in the Busch Series with Martin, Kenseth and Edwards; and two in the Craftsman Truck Series with drivers Ricky Craven and Todd Kluever.

About NASCAR

The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) has a broad reach with 1,800 racing events in 36 states at more than 110 tracks. Among major professional sports, NASCAR ranks number one in corporate involvement and per-event attendance, and number two in television viewership. The sanctioning body for stock car racing is headquartered in Daytona Beach, Fla., with offices in New York City (Corporate Marketing), Los Angeles (Broadcasting Media and Entertainment), Charlotte, N.C. (Licensing and Aftermarket), Concord, N.C. (Research and Development Center). Mexico City and Toronto.

MULTIMEDIA AVAILABLE:

http://www.businesswire.com/cgi-bin/mmg.cgi?eid=4818668

–30–JD/mi*

CONTACT:

Office Depot, Delray Beach

Mindy Kramer, 561/438-4276

Cell: 917/903-0640

or

Edelman

Nicole Mazzei, 312/240-2695

Cell: 312/952-9426

or

BBDO

Roy Elvove, 212/459-5797

Cell: 917/371-2906

Office Depot Offers One-of-a-Kind Opportunity for Customers to Become the ‘Official Small Business of NASCAR’