By Barry Janoff
January 20, 2016: In the upcoming film, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Warner Bros. is pitting two of the most iconic super-heroes in comic book and movie history against one another, and also tossing a roster of other DC Comics legends into the mix.
Thanks to an alliance between Warner Bros. Consumer Products and Nascar's Hendrick Motorsports that dates back to 2014, the theme of the movie is flying to the race track, with a super package of marketing and products featuring racing icons Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jimmie Johnson.
The movie is scheduled to hit theaters on March 25.
Leading up to that, Earnhardt Jr. and Johnson will play the roles of Batman and Superman, respectively, with activations to include marketing from Hendrick Motorsports partners Nationwide and Lowe’s, a sweepstakes, licensed products, in-store promotions, on-track activations and superhero-themed race car paint schemes.
“Delivering more value to our relationships is something we think about every single day,” Patrick Perkins, vp-marketing for Hendrick Motorsports, said in a statement. “The ability to bring together tremendous partners like Lowe’s and Nationwide and align them with arguably the year’s biggest action adventure film is an extraordinary opportunity.
"It creates ways to excite and entertain our current fans, reach new audiences and build special programs around everything from licensed merchandise to sweepstakes," said Perkins.
People will see the on-track result of this campaign at the Auto Club (Speedway) 400 on March 20 in Fontana, Calif.
Batman will be represented on Earnhardt’s No. 88 Nationwide Batman Chevrolet SS and Superman will be featured on Johnson’s No. 48 Lowe’s Superman Chevrolet SS.
Licensed merchandise featuring the Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice paint schemes for the Nos. 48 and 88 cars, respectively, will be available at participating retailers and online beginning Jan. 22. Items include die cast versions of the cars and die cast trucks, as well as hats and T-shirts.
Nationwide is offering via a sweepstakes the opportunity to attend the premiere of the film. The prize package also includes airfare, lodging, two tickets to the March 20 race and a meet-and-greet opportunity with Earnhardt, Jr. (Details here.)
On March 24, the eve of the Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice release, Lowe’s will host in its stores a free Superman-themed Build and Grow clinic, where families can build a wooden replica of Johnson’s Superman race car. (Parents can register their children at online beginning in March.)
A social media element includes Twitter with the hash tag, #HeroFaceOff.
According to Lawrence Lobpries, vp-consumer marketing for Lowe's, “In addition to putting a bold, unique paint scheme featuring Superman, one of the world’s greatest super heroes, in front of our passionate Team 48 fans, this partnership allows us to engage a new audience by bringing the thrill and action of the movie and Nascar to our stores across the country.”
"When we began working with DC Entertainment, this is exactly the type of program we all envisioned, and we’re proud to be involved."
The Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice paint schemes were co-developed by Warner Bros. Consumer Products and Hendrick Motorsports.
Earnhardt's paint scheme will showcase the Batman emblem and textures of the Caped Crusader’s suit. Johnson's car will feature the iconic S-shield and Superman suit textures.
In addition, Earnhardt and Johnson will wear custom-designed fire suits during the race weekend that feature the respective super hero logos.
"When we began working with DC Entertainment, this is exactly the type of program we all envisioned, and we’re proud to be involved," said Perkins.
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