SBD/Issue 7/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing
Junior Achievement: Earnhardt Unveils New Car, Sponsors
Published September 20, 2007
|Hendrick Motorsports Unveils New
Sponsors For Earnhardt Jr.'s No. 88 Car
AMP'ED UP: PepsiCo North America President & CEO Dawn Hudson said, “We’ve had a tremendous relationship with Hendrick Motorsports. We’ve had that with our Pepsi brand with Jeff Gordon. That’s over a 10-year relationship. Then for four years we’ve had our Gatorade brand with Jimmie Johnson. What that allows us to do is to connect to large fan bases, to obviously be at the tracks, but also get NASCAR into grocery stores, convenience and gas stores, promotional programs, innovative new products. It really has worked with us in the past.” PepsiCo runs a full-page ad in USA Today featuring the Mountain Dew and Amp Energy logos in support of the deal (THE DAILY). Hudson said a Super Bowl ad featuring Earnhardt was “very much under consideration” (USA TODAY, 9/20).
PULLING GUARD: Army National Guard Dir Lt. Gen. Clyde Vaughn said of his group's involvement in NASCAR, “It just happens that the strong point of recruiting the force happens to be exactly where the NASCAR Nation is. ... We have had the most historical surge in strength over the last two years that the Army National Guard has ever had” (THE DAILY).
PepsiCo's Hudson (l) Helps Earnhardt Jr.
Unveil Amp-Sponsored Car
SHOP 'TIL YOU DROP: In Dallas, Richard Durrett reports even before the announcement was made, new Earnhardt merchandise “was already on sale at various online stores,” and Motorsports Authentics (MA) President & CEO Mark Dyer “expected sales would be brisk.” MA already has shirts and caps “with the different paint schemes and the No. 88 on them,” which could take just a couple weeks to be delivered. New die-cast cars are also for sale, but “it will take longer to get those out onto the market.” Dyer estimates Earnhardt items account for 25-35% of all NASCAR sales, and he said that the new sponsors “should position him to attract more young fans, and Earnhardt’s popularity can still grow” (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 9/20). Dyer: “It’s generally regarded that Dale Earnhardt Jr. is at least a third of the entire NASCAR merchandise market. Some categories he would be even more. Next year, he’ll probably be a greater percentage because of the debut year of this whole new sponsor and car identity” ("Squawk Box," CNBC, 9/20). Dyer noted, “The whole retail industry was literally waiting down to the minute to the point when his new car became available” (N.Y. TIMES, 9/20). In Charlotte, David Poole reports the souvenir shop at JR Motorsports’ HQ had an early shipment of merchandise and “began selling [it] as soon as the announcement came down.” Poole notes a cable home shopping network carried yesterday's press conference live (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 9/20).
Earnhardt Jr. To Drive Same
Number As His Grandfather
JR. TOPS IN DRIVER EXPOSURE: See today's Back of the Book for Image Impact's report on the top Nextel Cup drivers in terms of brand exposure.