SBD/February 11, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship

Be Like Mike: Hamlin Signs With Nike's Jordan Brand For '11 NASCAR Season

Hamlin will be Jordan Brand's first NASCAR endorser; Jumpman will appear on suit
NASCAR driver Denny Hamlin has "struck a deal with Nike's Jordan Brand for the 2011 season," according to Darren Rovell of CNBC.com. The brand's Jumpman logo "will appear on Hamlin's uniform belt, back, shoulders and racing gloves" as part of the deal. Sources said that Hamlin, whose primary Sprint Cup Series sponsor is FedEx, "will not wear Jordan brand shoes in the car, but he will wear them off the track." Rovell noted the "deal was forged in part because Michael Jordan, whose brand has sponsored a motorcycle racing team since 2004, struck up a relationship with Hamlin" (CNBC.com, 2/10). Hamlin on Thursday said, "It's a big deal for myself and really NASCAR. The Jordan Brand has never been in NASCAR before." ESPN.com's David Newton reported Hamlin and Jordan developed their relationship after Jordan bought the Bobcats last year. Hamlin said, "He's always been an avid motorsports fan. He just never knew the right situation to get into NASCAR, and he felt like I was the right representative for him." Hamlin believes that the Jumpman logo "will help broaden the awareness of NASCAR beyond its typical fan base when his name is mentioned" with other Jordan Brand endorsers such as Heat G Dwyane Wade and Yankees SS Derek Jeter. He added, "This is a huge stepping point, and hopefully something that turns into something very big within our sport" (ESPN.com, 2/10).
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