DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- The U.S. Census and NASCAR announced an official partnership Wednesday at Daytona International Speedway that will include both a race title position and a promotional campaign designed to encourage participation in the upcoming U.S. Census reporting.
Highlighting this new partnership, the U.S. Census Bureau will be the race entitlement sponsor of the March 21 NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Additionally, the Census Bureau will have a large at-track presence at Phoenix Raceway, California's Auto Club Speedway and Richmond (Va.) Raceway. There will also be a highly visible "educational campaign" on NASCAR's Digital platforms and NASCAR programming on MRN radio.
"Certainly, they've got a broad fanbase, represent lots of areas that are in rural America and they help us get the word out," said Deb Stempowski, assistant director for decennial programs, operations and schedule management at the U.S. Census Bureau.
"And the key event in March (the Homestead race) really ties around to that March 12 when folks will start to get their invitations in the mail to respond to the census. So very busy time for NASCAR and a very busy time for the Census Bureau in the middle of March."
The Census Bureau will soon begin a campaign of media marketing -- across television, internet and social media -- to alert citizens about the upcoming count and to encourage them to participate.
Stempowski reminded the national media gathered at NASCAR's annual Daytona 500 Media Day that responding to the census has never been easier or more modern -- with internet, smart phone and computer access in addition to the traditional written census form. And she assured "not only is your data safe and secure, but it's also confidential. Federal law protects census answers."
This census campaign goes nationwide on Feb. 17 -- the day after NASCAR's crown jewel, the Daytona 500. Invitations to respond to the census will begin arriving around the country on March 12.
"We are honored to partner with the Census Bureau to educate our fans about the importance and benefits of participating in the U.S. Census," said Jill Gregory, NASCAR executive vice president and chief marketing and content officer.
"NASCAR Is a highly effective marketing platform that reaches millions of fans residing in communities across the country. We look forward to informing our fans how they will be invited to respond to the 2020 census online, in addition to by phone or by mail, for the first time in history."
The feeling was enthusiastically echoed by the Census Bureau.
"The census is almost here and we're ready to wave the green flag," Stempowski said.
--By Holly Cain, NASCAR Wire Service. Special to Field Level Media.