SBD/December 16, 2010/Marketing and Sponsorship

Ganassi Adds Fully Sponsored Rahal, Kimball To IndyCar Team

Graham Rahal Will Drive No. 38 Izod IndyCar Series Entry For Chip Ganassi Racing In '11
Chip Ganassi Racing today announced it will add two Izod IndyCar teams in '11 following a pair of primary sponsorship deals with TBC Retail Group, which owns Tire Kingdom among other outlets, and Novo Nordisk, a pharmaceutical company. U.S.-born IndyCar driver Graham Rahal will drive the No. 38 TBC supported car, which will feature Service America as its primary branding and regional branding for Service Central, Tire Kingdom, NTB-National Tire & Battery, Big O Tires and Merchant's Tire & Auto. Fellow American driver Charlie Kimball will drive the No. 83 Novo Nordisk car. Rahal announced his two-year sponsorship with TBC at Homestead-Miami Speedway in October during the last race of the '10 season. Kimball, a diabetic, uses Novo Nordisk's insulin product Levemir to help manage his diabetes. Terms of the sponsorships were not available. The addition of two cars to the Chip Ganassi race team follows the team's third consecutive IndyCar championship. Ganassi will continue to field cars driven by IndyCar Series champion Dario Franchitti and Scott Dixon. IndyCar primary sponsorships typically cost $6-11M.

: TBC started exposing its brand Service America to the public through racing last year, as Service Central sponsored an IndyCar last year in a small program with Sarah Fisher Racing. The company felt like moving to Ganassi Racing because the team offered them a better chance to earn exposure on the track because of strong performance. TBC Retail Senior VP/Marketing Bob Crostarosa: "Our organization is about performance and anyone we align with we want to be sure they provide that." He added that TBC believes IndyCar will continue to grow and that its demographic was a good fit for the company. He said, "It's a little more upscale (demographic) than NHRA and the price of entry is a little better than NASCAR, so we felt the opportunity for a good ROI was better." With the Ganassi Racing deal, the company now has a presence in NASCAR, NHRA and IndyCar.

: Kimball often goes to speak to children and parents on behalf of Novo Nordisk about type 2 diabetes and explains that they can live an active life with diabetes by using the company's products. His ability to explain the value of their products, based on his experience with them, was a major reason Novo Nordisk continued to sponsor him as he moved from the Indy Lights Series to IndyCar this year, Novo Nordisk VP/Diabetes Marketing Camille Lee said. Lee: "The reason we decided to do this is because of Charlie. Charlie is an outstanding role model for people with diabetes." To support its sponsorship on the car, the company plans to do on-site activation at tracks in '11 and increase its social media marketing.
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