Reader’s Digest, NASCAR Partner on Kids’ Racing Books

April 15, 2004
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MAIN NEWS HEADLINES

April 15-30, 2004 Edition

Reader’s Digest,

NASCAR Partner

on Kids’ Racing Books

PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y., 04/13/2004—Reader’s Digest Children’s Publishing today announced an agreement to publish and distribute books in the United States and Canada based on the popular NASCAR auto racing brand, bringing the exciting world of NASCAR racing to younger fans.

“We are delighted that we will be creating books based on America’s second most-watched spectator sport,” said Harold Clarke, Vice President and Publisher, Trade Publishing, for The Reader’s Digest Association, Inc. “With 75 million fans, NASCAR is a hit with both children and adults and fits well into our strategy of developing book products ‘driven’ by America’s strongest brands.”

Mark Dyer, Vice President of Licensing and Consumer Products at NASCAR, said: “As the popularity of NASCAR continues to grow, especially with younger fans, we’re partnering with the best publishers to sate our fans’ thirst for information and entertainment. More than half of all kids 7 – 12 years old are NASCAR fans. In this age group, NASCAR is now the No. 2 televised sport. We’re excited to collaborate with Reader’s Digest to bring quality books to this growing market of passionate fans.”

Reader’s Digest Children’s Books are distributed by Simon & Schuster, and can be purchased through retail and online bookstores nationally. Beginning in June 2004, Reader’s Digest Children’s Publishing will release the initial three NASCAR-related titles:

NASCAR CarryAlong(R) Book: Cars – Drivers – Races ($14.99) will serve as the perfect introduction to the NASCAR line. With colorful photographs and simple text, this book will give youngsters an inside look at the drivers and their cars, plus offer behind-the-scenes information about NASCAR races, tracks, pit crews and more. Brightly colored tabs on every page help young readers find their favorite subjects easily. The handy clasp and sturdy rubber handle—which looks just like a racing tire and has the NASCAR logo on it—will let kids take this book, and the action of NASCAR auto racing, with them wherever they go.

NASCAR Middle Grade Books: Speedway Superstars and The Greatest Races ($4.99): With 8-page photo inserts and 16 black and white photos throughout, these books will grab the attention of any 8-12 year old. Speedway Superstars focuses on NASCAR’S greatest drivers—all the greats from Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt, to today’s top drivers, will be included, along with fascinating fact-filled sidebars about the tracks, cars, and pit crews. The Greatest Races covers the most memorable events in NASCAR history including the first Daytona 500 in 1959, the 1974 Firecracker 400, 1984 Winston 500, and the 2003 Darlington race when Ricky Craven edged Kurt Busch by a fraction of an inch in the closest-ever NASCAR race finish.

About Reader’s Digest Children’s Publishing

Reader’s Digest Children’s Publishing has trade distribution in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom and produces co-editions in over 25 languages and 31 countries. The Reader’s Digest Association, Inc. (NYSE: RDA) is a global publisher and direct marketer of products that inform, enrich, entertain and inspire people of all ages and cultures around the world. Global headquarters are located at Pleasantville, New York. The company’s main Web site is at http://www.rd.com.

About NASCAR

NASCAR has a broad reach with 1,800 racing events in 36 states at more than 110 tracks. Among all professional sports, NASCAR is ranked first in at-event attendance, corporate involvement and fan loyalty, and second in television viewership. The sanctioning body for stock car racing is headquartered in Daytona Beach, Fla., with offices in New York City (Corporate Marketing), Los Angeles (Broadcasting Media and Entertainment), Charlotte, N.C. (Licensing and Aftermarket), and Concord, N.C. (Research and Development Center).

NASCAR’s publishing program now has more than 75 NASCAR-licensed titles in print. In 2004, NASCAR currently has 11 adult titles scheduled for release. In addition, NASCAR is emphasizing a new children’s publishing line including story books, chapter books, and reading level books to reach the entire children’s market.

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