Stoneacre Partners LLC was originally founded in July 2004 after nearly a year long effort of complex license rights negotiations with NASCAR, the National Association for Stock Car Racing. In 2004, NASCAR was purported to be the second most popular sport in the United States based on television viewership with a fan base of approximately 75 million fans and the #1 sport with fan brand loyalty. Patrick Brady, the original and principal founder of Stoneacre Partners and Nick Mammola, co-founder working through Kingside Partners successfully secured the exclusive world wide licensing rights to serve as the Official Loyalty and Affinity Marketing partner of NASCAR.
The original business model was comprised of two distinct yet inter-related business units operating together as THE NASCAR Members Program (NMP) :
- Official NASCAR Membership Club – A B2C consumer facing, fee based subscription membership affinity program whereby NASCAR fans could join to get behind the scenes and get insider access to exclusive benefits, content, merchandise, events and experiences, deals and discounts.
- NASCAR RacePoints, The Official Rewards Program of NASCAR whereby NASCAR fans could register in this loyalty program for free and through their purchase behavior and patronage of the Official Sponsors of NASCAR, would earn NASCAR RacePoints, a private marketplace currency redeemable for non-buyable, aspirational rewards of merchandise, meet & greets, events & access.
The NASCAR Members Program was conceived early in the digital marketing era and before the emergence of social and mobile technologies – before facebook, before twitter, before other social platforms and before the explosion of mobile devices. Both business units provided synergistic benefits and served as an innovative marketing solution to allow Stoneacre to create and build NASCAR’s fan data base. Freemium pricing tactics as commonly deployed today were nonexistent. At-track intercepts, gift-with-purchase & post transaction marketing via credit card on file offering Free to Fee served as key consumer acquisition and conversion strategies in the revenue funnel.