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A First in Sports History - Crown Royal Awards Naming Rights to Major Sporting Event After Adult Consumer

DAYTONA, Fla., Feb. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Throughout sports history, fans have always sat back and enjoyed watching sporting events unfold. Now, for the first time ever, Crown Royal Championship Racing has announced that a racing fan will actually be the main event with the culmination of the landmark "Your Name Here 400" promotion.

As part of a deciding ceremony today at Daytona International Speedway(R), Jim Stewart of Houma, La., was randomly selected from a pool of nine finalists as the grand prize winner, thus receiving the naming rights to the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway on Saturday, May 5, 2007. The race will officially be titled "Crown Royal presents the Jim Stewart 400," marking the first time in history that a race will be named after a fan.

Crown Royal judged the finalists based on written and video submissions chronicling consumers' favorite "CROWN-WORTHY(TM)" moments. A "CROWN-WORTHY" moment is defined as a memorable moment or occasion deemed "worthy" of toasting with a Crown Royal cocktail in a responsible manner (i.e., big promotion at work, bowling the perfect game, etc.). Stewart's winning entry chronicled his moments growing up fishing with his father and later christening his own fishing boat with a toast to his father.

"At its core, Crown Royal strives to give adult fans experiences that are fit for royalty and provide a taste of the good life," said Jim Lorenz, Senior Brand Manager, Crown Royal. "We see no better way to illustrate this than by actually giving away a race to one of these fans. Congratulations to Jim Stewart and his momentous achievement, which will forever be etched into the annals of sports history."

Much like other race entitlement sponsorships, Stewart's name will be recognized by NASCAR's broadcast and media partners as the race's official title. As guest of honor at America's Premiere Short Track, Stewart will take part in pre-race festivities at Richmond International Raceway, as well as participate in the check and trophy presentations to the race winner in Gatorade Victory Lane. During race weekend he will also receive VIP accommodations for himself and a guest.

"I can't think of a more CROWN-WORTHY moment than having a NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race named after you at America's Premiere Short Track," said Richmond International Raceway president Doug Fritz. "Congratulations to Jim Stewart for winning the contest and thanks to our terrific partners at Crown Royal Championship Racing for bringing this fun, ground-breaking promotion to Richmond International Raceway."

In total, Crown Royal received nearly 15,000 entries to the "Your Name Here 400" contest between May 6 and November 23, 2006, and the nine finalists were selected by a panel of judges on the basis of originality, relevance, appeal and clarity of their submissions. Each finalist received a prize package that included: race tickets, infield access, pre-race row tour of the garage, air travel and hotel accommodations to the 2007 DAYTONA 500(R).

In its continuous efforts to utilize national platforms to promote responsible drinking, Crown Royal also made a donation of $50,000 to RADD(R) (Recording Artists, Actors & Athletes Against Drunk Driving) -- based on total submissions received -- to help the organization's fight against drunk driving.

Furthermore, Crown Royal announced that the "Your Name Here 400" contest will continue in 2007, where the official name of the spring 2008 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway will be awarded to another adult fan. Following a similar format from last season's promotion, fans 21 and over are asked to submit written essays (50 words or less) via completing the question: "What is the most memorable Crown Royal moment you've shared with your friends?"

No purchase is required. Entries must be received or recorded by November 22, 2007 and will be judged equally on the basis of originality, relevance, appeal and clarity. The grand prize winner and three guests will receive the ultimate Crown Royal race experience at Richmond International Raceway, including air travel, hotel accommodations, race tickets, infield access and pre-race tour of pit row. Other prizes include: a 2007 Ford Mustang, Sony Bravia LCS televisions, Crown Royal customized Apple Video Ipods and IRWIN 9-in-1 Multi-Tool sets.

For the second consecutive year, Crown Royal is the primary sponsor of the No. 26 Roush Racing Ford Fusion team driven by Jamie McMurray. This includes primary paint scheme of the No. 26 car at 24 races during the 2007 season, including the DAYTONA 500. Additionally, the Crown Royal Special Reserve brand is presenting sponsor of the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series and primary sponsor of Cheever Racing's No. 39 Porsche driven by Christian Fittipaldi and Harrison Brix. Crown Royal will also serve as title sponsor in 2007 of the Crown Royal 200 at Watkins Glen, N.Y., on August 9-10.

About Crown Royal

Crown Royal, the number one selling Canadian Whisky, has a tradition as long and distinctive as its taste. Specially blended to commemorate a grand tour of Canada made by King George VI and Queen Elizabeth of Great Britain in 1939, Crown Royal's smooth, elegant style reflects its aristocratic origins and is considered the epitome of Canadian whisky. In addition to its motorsports sponsorships, the brand also sponsors The Crown Royal Bad Boys of Comedy Tour, the Crown Royal American Turf stakes race at Churchill Downs and a number of other major regional and national events. For more information on Crown Royal, visit

About Diageo

Crown Royal is proudly owned by Diageo (Dee-AH-Gee-O), the world's leading premium drinks business with an outstanding collection of beverage alcohol brands across spirits, wines, and beer categories. These brands include Johnnie Walker, Guinness, Smirnoff, J&B, Baileys, Cuervo, Tanqueray, Captain Morgan, Crown Royal, Beaulieu Vineyard and Sterling Vineyards wines.

Diageo is a global company, trading in more than 200 countries around the world. The company is listed on both the New York Stock Exchange (DEO) and the London Stock Exchange (DGE). For more information about Diageo, its people, brands, and performance, visit us at

Celebrating life, every day, everywhere, responsibly.

About Richmond International Raceway

Richmond International Raceway is perhaps the most universally loved racetrack anywhere, as it is a favorite among drivers, fans, NASCAR officials and the media. The Crown Royal presents the Jim Stewart 400 will be the track's 31st consecutive NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series sellout, dating back to 1992.

Year after year, Richmond International Raceway puts on the best short track show, and arguably the best racing in the world. Its unique, 3/4-mile layout produces tremendous side-by-side racing, yet drivers obtain high enough speeds to give it a superspeedway feel. That rare combination still allows for the beating and banging that fans love, with the drivers' skill playing a major role in winning. In the words of NASCAR NEXTEL Cup icon Rusty Wallace, those characteristics help make racing at the track and the experience fans have while visiting, simply "perfect."

During this past off season, Richmond International Raceway added nearly 5,000 seats, bringing its total capacity to 112,029. Additionally, Richmond International Raceway is the only track to hold all of its major events "under the lights."

About RADD

'The Entertainment Industry's Voice for Road Safety', is an internationally recognized non-profit organization that empowers celebrities and media partners to create positive attitudes about road safety. Founded in 1986, RADD advocates the use of designated drivers, seatbelts and safe driving through control behind the wheel, making responsible behavior the norm. RADD's messages are non-judgmental, hip and positive. For more information, contact Judy Diethelm, RADD/BLU MOON Group, 310-245-1166,

Designate Before You Celebrate(TM)

Source: Crown Royal

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