Goodyear. Marlboro. Pennzoil. Cornnuts?
Small businesses could get their 15 minutes of fame at the Indianapolis 500 in May, as high-profile drivers, up in arms over a reorganization, took household names--and their million-dollar advertising spots--to a competing event. Now, a decal on an Indy 500-level dragster can be had for as little as $25,000, opening up the track to smaller sponsors.
"I've always wanted Cornnuts to be on an Indy car, but I would've had to fork over my entire marketing budget," says Joe Heaney, president of the privately held corn-chip maker, which is negotiating for a spot. "Now, we have the chance to compete with the bucks of Frito-Lay and Ruffles."