INDIANAPOLIS, Tuesday, May 25, 2010 – Phillips-Van Heusen Corporation (NYSE: PVH) announced May 25 on behalf of its IZOD brand, sponsor of the IZOD IndyCar Series, that Mark Wahlberg, award winning actor and producer, will join the field at the start of the 2010 Indianapolis 500 – “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.”
Michael Andretti will drive Wahlberg in the custom-built, two-seat Indy car billed as the “IZOD Fastest Seat in Sports,” as 1969 Indianapolis 500 winner Mario Andretti coaches the two by radio from the IZOD Performance Pit.
Andretti and Wahlberg will follow four parade cars and lead the official pace car and the 33-car field of IZOD IndyCars on three parade laps. Once the parade cars exit the circuit, the two-seat race car will round the track at nearly 200 mph to catch the field from behind as the field takes the green flag for the most famous race in the world. This historic moment, which marks the first time in modern history that a driver and passenger will join the field of the Indy 500, will be captured live on ABC at noon (ET) on May 30, 2010.
“This sport is incredible,” said Wahlberg, Oscar- and Emmy-nominated actor, producer and AquaHydrate business partner. “I was blown away at the Long Beach Grand Prix by the speed and skill of these drivers — I’ve had the racing bug ever since. My career has taken me down many amazing roads, but nothing compares to this. This should be the ride of my life.”
Indeed, at speeds close to 200 mph, Wahlberg will endure G-forces equal to a space shuttle launch at Cape Canaveral as he rounds the historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway track, travelling the length of a football field in less than a second. To capture the experience, the “No. 1st IZOD Fastest Seat in Sports” Indy race car will be equipped with cameras and microphones to capture every moment of Wahlberg and Andretti’s famous laps. Exclusive footage, unique camera shots, in-car audio and pre- and post-race interviews will be available to fans, courtesy of Indy racing sponsor IZOD, after the race on www.racetotheparty.com.
“We’ve got three heavyweights making history – Mark Wahlberg, a Hollywood leading man who, for this ride, is professionally trained for an upcoming movie and in the best shape of his life, alongside Mario Andretti, one of the best to ever drive a race car and Michael Andretti, former driver and owner of Andretti Autosport,” said Mike Kelly, executive vice president of marketing for Phillips- Van Heusen Corporation, the worldwide owner of the IZOD brand. “We’re really proud to have these guys on our team and on the track for the first ‘IZOD Fastest Seat in Sports’ event. What a great place to be during an event like this. I would think it’s like suiting up with a Super Bowl team and chasing the kicker.”
The 2010 Indy 500 marks the on-track premier of the “IZOD Fastest Seat in Sports” Indy race car, a custom-built, two-seat Indy car, and the “IZOD Fastest Seat in Sports” experience. The car will continue its on-track tour at IZOD IndyCar Series events across America and Canada and IZOD will continue to sponsor “Fastest Seat in Sports” events, including promotions that will offer race fans the opportunity to experience this once-in-a-lifetime moment themselves. AquaHydrate is partnering with IZOD on these promotions. Special announcements will be made during the Indy 500 broadcast with details.
Since taking the title sponsor role for the IndyCar Series, IZOD has aggressively promoted the sport in an advertising campaign mixing the sport and its drivers with the classic IZOD brand lifestyle. The campaign titled “Race to the Party” features a series of 30-second commercials featuring IZOD IndyCar drivers — Tony Kanaan, Dan Wheldon, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Marco Andretti, racing different high-speed vehicles to a party. A special Indy 500 two-minute commercial continues the campaign and features cameos from Mark Wahlberg and Mario Andretti — who lend their star power to the storyline linking the Indy 500 “IZOD Fastest Seat in Sports” event to the campaign.
Wahlberg and Andretti will make various promotional appearances in New York, Boston and Indianapolis with the “No. 1st IZOD Fastest Seat in Sports” Honda Indy car leading up to the Indy 500.
To learn more about the IZOD IndyCar Series, visit www.indycar.com. To learn more about the IZOD brand and Phillips-Van Heusen, visit www.izod.com and www.pvh.com. To learn more about AquaHydrate, visit www.aquahydrate.com.
2010 Indy 500 tickets: Tickets for the 2010 Indianapolis 500, scheduled for Sunday, May 30, are on sale now. Race Day ticket prices start at just $20.
Fans can order tickets online at www.imstix.com, call the IMS ticket office at (317) 492-6700, or (800) 822-INDY outside the Indianapolis area or visit the ticket office at the IMS Administration Building at the corner of Georgetown Road and 16th Street. Online orders can be made at any time. Hours for phone orders and the ticket office are 8 a.m.-5 p.m. (ET) Monday-Friday.
Tickets for groups of 20 or more also are on sale. Contact the IMS Group Sales Department at (866) 221-8775 for more information.