OK, so we all know that racing is a business. And we all understand that when we see cars on the track with logos emblazoned on them, the intent is to raise awareness of a product or service.

In the case of the Saturday-night racer, most of the sponsorship you see is that of a local business, and of course, the idea is that the local fan base will become more aware of a given company and patronize its business or service.

For racers on a level such as NASCAR Winston Cup, Busch, and Craftsman Truck Series, the sponsorship is broader, and each company is looking for more national exposure. You know some of the names-Tide, Mr. Goodwrench Service Plus, Ford Quality Care Service, and the like.

This year, a new sponsor is on board a Winston Cup car, and to say the name is recognizable is an understatement. You guessed it-Viagra.

That name is by now familiar to most, but of course, racing will help increase the brand awareness even further. The fact that it is a sponsor is one thing, but there is something else going on here. The marketing program by Pfizer has a much broader aim-men's health in general-and along the way, the company will increase awareness of other Pfizer products as well.

Viagra is the foundation of its program and is what those watching and listening to the race will see and hear. However, for those who go to Winston Cup races, there is more. Pfizer has an 18-wheel rig that rolls onto the grounds of every Cup event, and it's not the one that carries the race car. It's a rig that has been named the Men's Health Tune Up for Life Mobile Unit.

As the name implies, this rolling lab is intended to be a place that men can go for screenings of male-specific and general health concerns. The screening is extremely simple and involves a finger stick, blood pressure check, and a simple questionnaire.

The thinking is, since health experts say statistically men are less likely to go to a doctor for this type of screening, then perhaps they will be more available for it at a race. To add to the attractive nature, the service is free.

Sound like a good idea? You bet it does. I know there will be many that say this is just another marketing gimmick for a big company to make more money-but who cares? If this program discovers one thing for one man that prevents an illness or saves a life, then the whole thing is worth it.

I for one applaud the efforts of the Pfizer Company, and intend to avail myself of this service, because I fall into the statistical group that would not normally set an appointment for this.

I believe this is a very good program, and several Cup drivers agree. You have, by now, probably heard or seen Rusty Wallace, Bobby Labonte, and Mark Martin in commercials about this service.

So guys, if you make it to a Winston Cup race, look for this trailer and take advantage of the service. For those who don't, go have it done-it will help keep all of us around for more races. -David Miller

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