No animals were hurt during this post
November, 3, 2010
By Eddie Gossage | ESPNDallas.com
There is always some monkey business at Texas Motor Speedway.
This Friday, Saturday and Sunday, two trained capuchin monkeys - Miki and Rocky - will be found selling souvenir programs for the AAA Texas 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup race. We’ve enlisted the help of Miki and Rocky, both decked out in “No Limits” gear, to sell the newly redesigned souvenir program, with a “No Limits” cover and special insert featuring Stephanie, one of “The Great American Sweethearts.”
In December, the management teams of the Speedway Motorsports Inc., race tracks were talking about the decline of souvenir program sales in college and professional football. Some teams no longer produce souvenir programs. Fortunately souvenir program sales at races remain strong, in part because of the huge crowds.
Courtesy TMSMiki and Rocky were trained to sell, not steal AAA Texas 500 souvenir programs.
Then SMI chairman Bruton Smith piped up: “Hey, a trained monkey could sell souvenir programs.” And he went into his explanation of how to properly sell souvenir programs, something derived from an almost 60-year career in motorsports.
But the idea stuck. I quickly committed it to memory and looked around the room to see if any of them were as smart as me to seize the idea. Clearly, by their performance since the meeting, none of them were quick enough to pounce on the idea. Or perhaps they didn’t think it was good enough. Me, I never question the chairman.
So my friends Miki and Rocky will make their first public appearance Friday, Nov. 5, from 2:30-4 p.m. at the Hot Rod Café in the infield. They will return and be stationed on the concourse at Gate 4 on Saturday, Nov. 6, from 9:30-11 a.m. prior to the start of the NASCAR Nationwide Series O’Reilly Auto Parts Challenge race and Sunday, Nov. 7, from Noon-2 p.m. before the start of the AAA Texas 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup race.
We’re selling souvenir programs, Bruton. No monkeying around with that idea.