March 28, 2012

The financially struggling All-American Soap Box Derby has landed a title sponsor from its hometown in Akron.

The Derby announced Wednesday that FirstEnergy Corp. electric utility, also based in Akron, will be the title sponsor for the 75th running of the event July 21.

The sponsorship deal is good for three years. Financial terms weren't announced.

The nonprofit Derby lost sponsors and was sued over bad loans in 2009. The city of Akron guaranteed the loans and the Derby went to work on budget cutting and fundraising.

Each year the Derby attracts more than 500 youngsters ages 7 to 17 who race down a 1,000-foot track in gravity-powered cars made from kits.

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