Car marque Seat UK is moving into advertiser-funded television programming with the launch of a prime-time motor racing series, the Seat Cupra Championship, with a docu-soap based around the drivers’ experiences.
Marketing Week disclosed that Seat was planning to launch the TV programming focusing on the Cupra last October (MW October 24, 2002). The main programme will be shown at weekends on ITV1 in the summer and there will be a ‘sister’ series on ITV2, aimed at helping young drivers to build their personal profiles and attract sponsorship.
The programmes will be produced by Granada and 4D. The deal was negotiated by Bates Widescreen and is the brainchild of Seat UK head of marketing Mark McKenna.
The prize fund for the 12-race series, which will be held over six weekends, will be more than &£600,000 and there will a winning prize of a paid drive with Seat UK in the 2004 European Touring Car Championship. Seat claims the prize is one of the biggest awards in British motorsport.
The championship was officially launched earlier this month at the Autosport Show, where 20 identical Seat Leon Cupra R race cars were presented to the 20 registered drivers.
The championship will have a dedicated qualifying session and a race distance of at least 30 miles. Seat is planning to hold the races in double meetings with the British F3/GT programme, which has yet to be confirmed.