National off road series signs toy company icon
The Australian Off Road Championship has confirmed its second major commercial signing within a month.
Global company Funrise Toys, the manufacturer of Tonka branded products will become an official championship and telecast partner for the 2014 season.
The news comes just two weeks after the addition of Monster Energy as a partner to the AORC.
The company has existing arrangements with the iconic Baja 1000 and other American off road events.
Funrise says it is the right time to become involved in Australian off road racing which has taken on a substantial commercial transformation in the last 12 months.
Kathy Hawk, vice-president of marketing at Funrise Toys, said: “Tonka Motorsports is very excited to be expanding the Tonka Off-Road brand into the Championship.
“After a successful season of off-road racing here in the US, we want to continue to support the sport of off-road racing in Australia.
“Everyone who either participates and/or watches off-road racing is passionate for the sport, and these drivers and fans are also our customers.”
The Tonka brand has been around since 1947 with generations of kids growing up with its legendary trucks built on the well-worn slogan ‘Tonka Tough’.
“We thought it would be a great idea to have real Tonka Tough trucks out there competing and racing amongst the best in the sport. There’s no better place to get dirty than on an off-road track.”
AORC commercial partners HP Sports Management’s Bron Humphrey said it is a perfect synergy with the sport.
“Off road racing is such a family oriented sport and so many of the competitors and fans come to the events with their children,” Humphrey said.
“Tonka’s new range of off-road vehicles is not only a great way for children to engage in our sport, but Tonka’s passion for the sport’s growth in general is second to none.”
The 2014 Australian Off Road Championship starts in Kalgoorlie, Western Australia, on the Easter long weekend.
2014 Australian Off Road Championship calendar
Round 1: Kalgoorlie, WA: April 18-20 (Easter)
Round 2: Finke, NT: June 6-9
Round 3: Waikerie, SA: July 4-6
Round 4: Coffs Harbour, NSW: September 12-14 (Rally Australia, WRC)
Round 5: Lockyer Valley, QLD: October 17-19