The Collective: Racing Promotion – Indy Goes Indy, Is Trek Next?

A year before Paramount brings Star Trek back to the mainstream in a big way, they are working on another big franchise comeback, Indiana Jones. The Collective is keeping a close eye on how Paramount market this year’s big Indy movie to gain insights into what we may be expecting for next year. We will have a full report in June, but today offer an example of just one bit of the Indy media blitz…racing promotion.

Indy goes Indy
This week Paramount and Lucasfilm announced that Marco Andretti and his #26 team will be racing the Indianapolis 500 in a Blockbuster Indiana Jones car to help promote the Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, opening May 22nd. In addition, there will be exclusive merchandise available at Blockbuster featuring this sporting pastiche of the two Indys. There is also a tour starting today in Phoenix and going across the nation at Blockbuster stores where fans can view the Indiana Jones car. More info on the Indy Indy Car at 

The marketing of Indiana Jones is too big for merely one race car, because NASCAR also has its own Indy vehicle. Kyle Busch will drive the #18 M&M Indiana Jones car May 10th at the Dodge Challenger 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup.

Trek Racing?

Racing merchandising is just one aspect of the massive Indy marketing campaign, but is an excellent example of ‘mainstream’ marketing that we are hearing so much about, related to JJ Abrams’ new Star Trek. So can we expect something like this next year for Trek? Well it actually wouldn’t be the first time.

In 1996, when Star Trek First Contact was assimilating theater audiences around the world, another kind of trek was taking place. NASCAR racer Michael Waltrip drove the #21 Citgo/Star Trek First Contact car during that year’s Winston Cup. This was the first and only time a Star Trek film was advertised utilizing race cars. In addition there was an interesting collectible, the 1/24 scale Star Trek car was available for about $40 (the usual price for these kind of detailed items) at NASCAR and sporting good stores across America. The scale model is exceptionally detailed and makes for a great display item. Besides being fun for fans, this kind of advertising helps alert a larger audience to a film’s imminent premier.

Model of Citgo First Contact car (FC logo on the rear hood)

With a May opening, it makes sense that Paramount might want to feature Kirk and crew on an Indy vehicle or possibly NASCAR. suggests the following for the crew chief’s helmet.

In June, after the Indy 4 campaign is over and the marketing and merchandising is complete, will have a full report on all the different facets of the campaign. So far the campaign is just massive and so if Paramount is really going to give Star Trek the big tentpole movie treatment, a year from now we are in for a fun ride.


Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Warp speed indy car, perhaps?

Well, there WAS that Corvette over at that “Iowa” shoot….

I didn’t know about Waltrip’s First Contact car; at last Saturday’s Sprint Cup race in Richmond, someone dorove a car with the markings of the Mach 5 to promote Speed Racer.

Is anyone else experiencing what i am?

I am seeing very little promotion for the Indy film. I have seen a few tv ads…maybe 15-20. And i think i saw a tie in with some cookie or cracker in my grocer’s snack food isle. also, i’ve seen Ford out stumping on interview shows twice.

other than that…i certainly havent experienced a “massive campaign” for the new Indy flick. as a matter of fact…if i didnt surf the internet and immerse my self in lots of pop culture…i might not even know a new Indy film was coming.

i watch lots of tv too…how am i missing the “massive campaign”?

I sooooooo wanta wear that cool Star Trek “Spock”helmet to work

:o )

( What the hell did that have to do with Star Trek anyway ?)

SirMartman, I believe the Vulcan Academy of Science developed it to prevent tragic accidents involving Mechanical Rice Pickers.

There has been a significant effort on Paramount part to keep the Indy promotions limited. It’s believed that the movie will sell itself, with the legacy of fans from the last 25 years.

This was in part due to the success of Transformers, again relying on word of mouth and the built in legacy audience.

IMO I doubt this the same tact for Star Trek; I see more viral marketing, and then a serious push in advertising 6 months out.

Ah, I remember that helmet. I also remember the phaser (looked nothing like actual phaser) that shot out little discs. I wish I bought both and kept them in original boxes though.

I thought it was interesting that Expedia is doing Indiana Jones-themed commercials with a contest to win Indy-like adventure vacations (I believe it was Expedia… correct me if I’m wrong). I don’t recall seeing a movie tie-in quite like that before.

If STXI gets a fair fraction of the overall NASCAR audience, Paramount will have enough to build a real starship for STXII.

And I think I had that helmet. Mine said “DORK.”

earthclanbootstrap#6- LOL!

That poor child in the photo…he must have got his tail kicked a thousand times at school for wearing that monstrosity. Oh, yeah, that was me…

If they are going to get an indy car for the Trek movie, make sure it is the #7 team.

I have not seen one Indy commercial on TV. The trailer is awesome, so it seems a waste not to show it. I am seeing a few Indy promos on some food product packaging here and there, but if it weren’t for the internet, I wouldn’t have known the movie was coming . . .
I have high hopes for ST XI; for example, I hope every other kid who comes to my door for Halloween ’09 is wearing some Spock ears! Curious to see how Paramount markets our favorite franchise from here on out . . .
I will admit, though, I didn’t even know that TOS was being remastered. I caught one of the remastered episodes on my local NBC affiliate several months ago and that’s what prompted me to do an internet search and find this site. Now I’m so jazzed for the new movie I can hardly stand it! All the excitement has pushed me to not only re-watch TOS-R, but explore ENT and DS9. I’m like a kid again!

That helmet is SOOOOO wrong!

Aw, that looks like a special ed helmet.

It would be nice to see Trek advertised in different ways to attract new fans.

Anyone remember that one Voyager episode “Drive?”

When I went to a matinee of IRON MAN on Saturday, the bulk of the audience were 10-12 year old kids. Sadly, they didn’t seem at all interested in the INDY trailer. Makes me worry a little about the response to the new TREK. Is it “too old” for today’s kids?

The Indy M&M TV commercials are getting a lot of play.

Indy is on my breakfast cereal bars. Unfortunately, they put a still from the first movie side-by-side with one from this movie. That’s not fair, even for a good lookin’ guy like Harrison Ford. 30 years is 30 years. (Now it’s not ‘just’ the years, it’s the mileage and the years.)

Well, F1 team Red Bull have been sponsoring the ‘big film’ each year at the Monaco Grand Prix. Not sure what this year’s will be but next year could be a Trek themed racing car if the dates all work out (which they probably don’t but it’s too late in the evening for me to go and check).

They did Star Wars, then Superman Returns (complete with David Coulthard in Superman cape on the podium in front of Prince Thingy of Monaco… quite amusing).

Maybe he could wear that helmet?

What I love most about that helmet isn’t just that it’s an Official Star Trek Helmet, but that (in the smaller print) it’s a “Space Fun Helmet.”

They might just as easily have chosen a helmet meant for space surveying or space war or space safety or even space efficiency, but they built that helmet for SPACE FUN.

And what a fetching chin-strap! I bet our little Mister Spock there had to hold all the girlfolk at bay with his pulsing sonic sound and flashing light emitter.

A study by Duke University shows that Space Fun is 23% more enjoyable than earthbound fun.

Yea, A warp enabled NASCAR racer. She’ll finish before she starts. (thinking of the stretch-snap warp effect from the TNG era)

Heee–yaaaaaa! Redneck warp drive… pour in some hooch and stir with anti-matter. Ain’t that a kick in the intercoolers.

I’d like to see Danica Patrick in TOS mini-skirt.Yowza!


take a cold shower

Well next up will be LEGO – A lego game spanning the…10 films and LEGO sets?

That was Bobby Labonte driving Petty Enterprise’s #43 with the Speed Racer markings (the M on the hood, some other graphics). Too bad they couldn’t have gotten it on Casey Mears #5 car instead, and too bad they didn’t play with the graphics more on the hood to make it look more like the Mach 5, or put the M on Bobby’s helmet, too, but at least it looks better than that lame #21 Waltrip/First Contact car.

Woo-Hoo!!! I’d love to see Star Trek on the hood of a race car. That would be awesome, especially if they could get it in the Daytona 500–and maybe, on the hood of who knows? Dale Jr or Tony Stewart? I guess we’ll have to see. Since Mikey Waltrip had ST 1st Contact on his car, maybe he could do it again.


It would be nice see a Trek cameo of some kind in a commercial for Enterprise Rent-a-Car.

I can just see it now:

[Cue the new Enterprise from the movie. Two seonds.]

Announcer: “Enterprise: Warp Speed! Now featuring Kirk’s Corvette.”

[Cue Enterprise leaving orbit, warp flash.]

Announcer: “Enterprise. The logical choice.”

Well, Anthony, it looks like maybe you WILL get something Enterprise-related with flames painted on the side. LOL