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Melee Speeds NASCAR to GoodTimes

3 Mar, 2005 By: Jessica Wolf

If it seems like there's a lot of NASCAR product whizzing through the market these days, it's because there is. And there's more to come as Melee Entertainment, which markets the NASCAR franchise, signed on with GoodTimes Entertainment this week to distribute future NASCAR titles to the mass market.

The multi-year exclusive deal started with the Feb. 15th release of Darrell Waltrip: His Passion Behind the Wheel.

Formerly, Melee product was distributed through Universal Music & Video Distribution's (UMVD) Visual Entertainment, a new supply channel formed when parent company Vivendi Universal and GE/NBC merged.

Melee was part of the mix and as its contract with UMVD came up for renewal GoodTimes approached the company with an attractive offer for NASCAR line, said Mike Regen, VP of marketing and acquisitions for Melee. UMVD will continue to handle distribution for all feature programming from Melee like the-platinum selling The Complete Dennis Leary as well as past NASCAR product, Regen said.

“GoodTimes has strong brands and they have great relationships at retail, with Best Buy, Circuit City and Wal-Mart, which are important for the NASCAR fan,” Regen said.Indeed, through March 14, Wal-Mart has an exclusive NASCAR-related DVD with Warner Home Video's NASCAR 3D: The Imax Experience.

What also attracted Melee to GoodTimes is the company's experience and expertise in the direct-response marketing area, Regen said. Melee is exploring direct response as an option for NASCAR products.

“The DVD market is so saturated,” he said. “We really have a limited number of releases per year. Five or six years ago people were buying up everything on DVD. Now you really have to spend your time marketing six to eight months out, especially when you're competing against huge theatrical titles.”

Melee will field three to four NASCAR releases a year, Regen said. The programs are created for DVD through NASCAR Images, the official TV and film company for the sport. Following the Darrell Waltrip release is a behind-the-scenes look at the increasingly popular sport, NASCAR Hot Pass with Kenny Wallace being prepped for a summer release and in the fourth-quarter, a recap of the entire season with the Nextel Cup Year in Review 2005.

“We're definitely amping up,” Regen said, adding that the company is aggressively moving into DVD production and acquisitions across genres.

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