Craftsman, the Official Tools of NASCAR®, and ESPN are giving race fans a VIP NASCAR® racing experience right in their own back yard with special events held in eight markets across the country. Fans will get a behind-the-scenes look at the ESPN Craftsman Tech Garage, the Sports Emmy® Award-winning traveling television studio used throughout the network's multi-platform NASCAR® race coverage. Fans can experience "pit row" with complimentary vehicle inspections by a Sears Auto Center Mechanic, and have the chance to get up close and personal with the tools trusted by NASCAR®.
"We work with ESPN each week to bring the excitement on the track to life for viewers with the Tech Garage," said Kris Malkoski, vice president and general manager of the Craftsman brand. "We're thrilled about this tour because it gives fans an all-access exclusive look inside the studio and shows them the Craftsman tools that have become a trusted name among NASCAR® and DIY auto enthusiasts alike."
The events will take place at Sears store locations from March through September, kicking off in Atlanta on March 6. Inside the Tech Garage, fans can check out all the props, demos and Craftsman tools used during race telecasts to help fans better understand the technical and mechanical aspects of NASCAR® racing. Tech Garage host and NASCAR analyst Tim Brewer, a two-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series™ champion crew chief, will be at each of the eight events to meet fans and give tours.
Fans can also have their car inspected and diagnosed by a Sears Auto Center Mechanic, checking vitals such as windshield wipers and oil levels, tire pressure and tire tread wear. Sears Auto Center is a leading provider of automotive maintenance and repair services, tires, parts and accessories. Other activities include NASCAR®-themed games and prizes, including a tire change and jack challenge where participants can test their pit crew skills. The first 200 attendees to arrive at each event will receive a Craftsman game card that can be redeemed for a gift card worth up to $100. The events are free to attend.
Demonstration stations will allow attendees to try out some of the newest tool innovations from the Craftsman brand, including the Craftsman Dog Bone and Craftsman Universal Wrench. Craftsman tools are trusted week in and week out to get the job done on the race track, but car owners don't need to be pros to tackle at-home auto maintenance, especially in today's economy where DIY car care is a great way to save money. The Craftsman brand offers mechanics tools, cordless drill/drivers, garage storage and more to get the job done. Most Craftsman hand tools have a lifetime warranty, so you can trust they will always be available to help get the job done.
Great for mechanics' use, Craftsman's new Dual Ratcheting Wrench features both open-end and box-end ratcheting. The patented ratcheting open-end design fits neatly into tight spots and allows movement without ever taking the wrench off the fastener, giving the speed of a ratchet with the access of an open-end wrench. A power tool like Craftsman's C3 cordless Impact Wrench is great for tightening or loosening vehicle nuts and bolts. All Craftsman C3 tools can be used interchangeably with one 19.2-volt lithium ion DieHard rechargeable battery.
"Craftsman tool's long and successful association with NASCAR made them a perfect fit when we launched the Tech Garage last year," said Ed Erhardt, president, ESPN Customer Marketing and Sales. "These events are a fun way for race enthusiasts to spend a few hours and get a peek at a part of NASCAR that is not normally open to the public."
The event tour schedule is as follows. All events are from noon to 4 p.m. local time outside the Sears store location.
-- March 6: Atlanta, Gwinnett Place Mall (Duluth, Ga.) -- April 10: Phoenix, Paradise Valley Mall (Phoenix) -- April 18: Dallas, Town East Mall (Mesquite, Texas) -- May 23: Charlotte, N.C., Carolina Mall (Concord, N.C.) -- July 11: Chicago, Chicago Ridge Mall (Chicago Ridge, Ill.) -- July 18: Indianapolis, Castleton Square (Indianapolis) -- Aug. 28: Nashville, Tenn., Cool Springs Galleria (Franklin, Tenn.) -- Sept. 12: Richmond, Va., Chesterfield Towne Center (Richmond, Va.)
Fans can visit www.craftsman.com/officialtools for more information about the events, event locations and official game card rules. On the Web site, fans can also follow the Tech Garage as it travels from city to city, watch video and look at photos from event location and check out special Craftsman brand promotions.
The Craftsman brand has developed innovative products for more than 80 years. Craftsman was ranked as the most trusted tool brand in America in the 2008 Harris Interactive Equitrend Brand Study. For more information on Craftsman's wide selection of products, visit www.craftsman.com. For more information about Sears Auto Center services, visit www.searsauto.com.
About Sears Holdings Corporation
Sears Holdings Corporation is the nation's fourth largest broadline retailer with approximately 3,900 full-line and specialty retail stores in the United States and Canada. Sears Holdings is the leading home appliance retailer as well as a leader in tools, lawn and garden, home electronics and automotive repair and maintenance. Sears Holdings is the 2010 ENERGY STAR® Retail Partner of the Year. Key proprietary brands include Kenmore, Craftsman and DieHard, and a broad apparel offering, including such well-known labels as Lands' End, Jaclyn Smith and Joe Boxer, as well as the Apostrophe and Covington brands. It also has the Country Living collection, which is offered by Sears and Kmart. We are the nation's largest provider of home services, with more than 12 million service calls made annually. Sears Holdings Corporation operates through its subsidiaries, including Sears, Roebuck and Co. and Kmart Corporation. For more information, visit Sears Holdings' website at www.searsholdings.com.
First Call Analyst: Westenberger, Richard
CONTACT: Larry Costello of Sears Holdings, +1-847-286-9036,
email@example.com; or Liz Risoldi of Zeno Group, +1-312-396-9730,
firstname.lastname@example.org, for Craftsman