Mark Martin will drive Farmers-branded car at five Sprint Cup races this season
Farmers Insurance has signed a five-race primary sponsorship for Hendrick Motorsports' No. 5 Chevrolet driven by Mark Martin
. The deal makes Farmers an associate sponsor of Martin's car for the remainder of the season. The deal continues Farmers' recent push into sports by adding NASCAR to a portfolio that also includes naming rights for Farmers Field, the planned NFL stadium in downtown L.A., and the PGA Tour's Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines. Farmers President of Enterprise Marketing Paul Patsis
said, "It's hard to ignore NASCAR and the NFL. They dominate sports. This seemed like a natural extension for us." Patsis said that Farmers plans to use the sponsorship to raise its brand awareness and inspire its sales agents. He added there would be business-to-business opportunities with the Hendrick Automotive Group, which operates 59 car dealerships across nine states. There's currently no formal B2B relationship, Patsis said.
This is the California-based insurer's first Sprint Cup team sponsorship since it sponsored Travis Kvapil
at an '09 race at Fontana's Auto Club Speedway. Patsis said, "That sort of whet our appetite. We wanted to do research more and look at getting involved in a different way (after Fontana)." Martin will drive a Farmers-branded car at five races: May 21 at the Sprint Cup All-Star Race in Charlotte; June 5 at Kansas Speedway; June 12 at Pocono Raceway; June 26 at Infineon Raceway; and Aug. 27 at Bristol Motor Speedway. In the All-Star Race, Hendrick will field a No. 25 car with a red paint scheme and Farmers logo that resembles the No. 25 Folgers-branded car Hendrick driver Tim Richmond
drove in '86.