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Domino's newest driver: Michael Waltrip

ATLANTA, Ga. - October 24, 2003 – Domino's Pizza, the world's recognized leader in pizza delivery, which became the "Official Pizza of NASCAR" earlier this year, has expanded its involvement in NASCAR and today is announcing a partnership with Dale Earnhardt, Inc. (DEI).  Under the agreement, Domino's will become an associate sponsor of the No. 15 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet driven by Michael Waltrip.  The relationship with DEI and Waltrip will allow Domino's to ramp up its NASCAR-themed advertising and promotions, which began earlier this year.

"We've learned that companies must pass three tests before consumers associate a company as a true NASCAR sponsor – there must be an authentic partnership, awareness through advertising and promotions, and a connection on the track," said Ken Calwell, executive vice president, Build the Brand, Domino's Pizza.  "During our first lap around the track we acquired the official status, followed by an impactful marketing campaign which featured Michael in our award-winning commercial.  Now that Domino's Pizza is a part of the DEI crew, we've added that final element and we are taking this to a whole new level." 


To celebrate his new partnership with Domino's Pizza, the world's recognized leader in pizza delivery, NASCAR driver Michael Waltrip (right) hoists in victory his own personal Domino's car top sign presented by Domino's Chairman and CEO David A. Brandon (left).  (photo by Domino's Pizza) 

Waltrip will debut his No. 15 NAPA race car with the Domino's logo on the right panel, behind the number 15, and the left panel behind the rear tire during a press conference at the Atlanta Motor Speedway.  Throughout 2004, the No. 15 show car will make a cross-country tour and be displayed at 90 Domino's stores.  Other details of the agreement include Waltrip's participation in Domino's advertising, online marketing initiatives and promotions.

"Partnering with Domino's will be a fun and exciting ride," said Michael Waltrip. "In February, days after Domino's unveiled the commercial featuring my family at a press conference in Daytona, we won the Daytona 500. I'm looking forward to more great wins together."

Domino's official NASCAR sponsorship also created significant enthusiasm throughout Domino's, with 90% of the company's markets utilizing the NASCAR commercial during the March and April 2003 advertising period -- an unprecedented number. The highly praised ad was awarded "Commercial of the Month" in ADWEEK's March issue. Also, more than 3 million NASCAR event box tops were distributed by local stores.

Among all major sports properties, NASCAR is currently number one in fan loyalty, and number two in television viewership.  

"Domino's has taken a very intelligent, scaled approach to learning about our sport, establishing a connection with our fans, then increasing their involvement in NASCAR," said Brett Yormark, vice president for corporate marketing at NASCAR.  "Their progression from official sponsor to partnering at a team level is right on plan."

"After a thoughtful and thorough review, there is no doubt that DEI and Michael Waltrip are the right partners for Domino's," said Calwell.  "The combination of Michael's strong racing heritage, popularity and pursuit of excellence makes him a winner, and Domino's is happy to be there with him as he crosses the finish line."

About Domino's Pizza
Founded in 1960, Domino's Pizza operates a network of 7,332 Company-owned and franchised stores in the United States and more than 50 countries, and is the recognized world leader in pizza delivery.  Domino's Pizza, named a Megabrand by Advertising Age, had systemwide sales of nearly $4 billion in 2002.  Domino's Pizza was named "Chain of the Year" for 2003 by Pizza Today magazine, the leading publication of the pizza industry.  In 2003 Domino's became the "Official Pizza of NASCAR."  More information on the Company, in English and Spanish, can be found on the web at www.dominos.com.