INDIANAPOLIS -- The Indianapolis Motor Speedway has agreed to let its trademark name 'Indy' be used in Japan and hopes eventually that Indy 500 drivers will compete there.
The Speedway said Tuesday it has entered into a license agreement with Kyodo System of Tokyo, which plans to form a corporation under the name Japan Indy Inc., for the purpose of developing a world class race course in the Tokyo area.
The proposed facility would be named 'Japan Indy Motor Speedway,' IMS said, and the long range plan is to feature an annual 'Japan Indy' event with cars and drivers who run in the Indy 500.
IMS said it will be a consultant for the project, which will be financed by several Japanese corporations.
'The Japan market has for many years been exposed to the live television broadcast of our event (500-mile race) and to Indy 500 merchandise through our Japan licensing program,' IMS executive vice president Tony George said.
'Similar to what we have seen with the NFL, Major League Baseball, major college athletics and Disney World, we want to bring our product to their market,' George said.
The Speedway also announced it has signed an agreement with Molson Breweries of Canada Limited, permitting Molson to continue to use the name 'Molson Indy' as the title for the annual Indy car race promoted and sponsored by Molson in Toronto.
The agreement resolves legal differences between the two parties over the use of the name 'Indy' since 1986.