Tuesday, November 26, 2002

I just got the following "news" release via email, and I can't help myself. Here goes:

Unique modeling firm to cater exclusively to Auto Racing, Motorcycle industries.

Infineon Raceway, CA - (November 25, 2002) - Strap on your race gear! Start your engines! Head out to a venue ASAP!

Armed with hot pants and sun shades, the UmbrellaGirls are coming to raceways across America - and they want to meet you.

The latest innovation in a sport that attracts more fans per event than any other in America, UmbrellaGirls USA is a group of dynamic, beautiful young women promoting goods and services exclusively to the auto and motorcycle racing industries.

"The idea was to cull a roster of some of the most lovely, interesting women in America, and put them to work representing the many companies that vie for advertising space at the raceway," says Ann Asiano, President and Founder of UmbrellaGirls USA. "In Italy, where motorcycle and auto racing is highly revered, upscale event models are a huge part of the race fan experience - in the United States that niche really hasn't been filled as yet. But because there's such a plethora of companies that are interested in getting involved with the racing industry, our UmbrellaGirls offer a great way for a wide array of organizations to get their names out at the raceway via a very appealing medium."

Nice chassis!

Through UmbrellaGirls USA, Asiano plans to promote divergent client types ranging from motor oil companies to retail and clothing firms. Umbrella Girls wear apparel bearing client logos and tote eye catching signature sun umbrellas while meeting and greeting fans, race contestants, and raceway VIP's.

"While they are very attractive, UmbrellaGirls are more than eye-candy at the raceway," says Asiano. "They have an advanced knowledge of racing and truly understand the products and services they are promoting. Some UmbrellaGirls, such as Natalie Jackson, compete in their own right and have been involved in motor sports for years. And since motor sports have such an international appeal, we make it a priority to recruit UmbrellaGirls who are bilingual so they can assist and make welcome the many European, Asian and Hispanic contestants and fans that compete and watch races in the USA."

While scheduled to formally launch in November at the International Motorcycle Show held at the San Mateo Expo Center, UmbrellaGirls have appeared on a limited basis at Infineon and Pomona Raceways, and will continue to preview services at raceways throughout the West Coast in coming weeks.

To learn more about Umbrella Girls USA, visit their website.

Now, don't get me wrong. I'm all for beautiful young women promoting products and services, especially beautiful young women well-versed in motor sports, but I'm curious how this is innovative. From the pages of Easyrider to the boothless babes at most car shows, it seems that there's already a connection between women and wheels. I know I work for a magazine called Fast Company, but this might be better received -- and actually covered -- by the folks at Popular Hot Rodding. Or, yeah! The folks I just met at Raceway Media Magazine.

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