SBD/February 23, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship

Kanaan Out Of De Ferran Dragon Racing After Not Signing Enough Sponsorship

Tony Kanaan in '10 ended his longtime sponsorship deal with 7-Eleven
IndyCar driver Tony Kanaan said that he “doesn't have enough sponsorship to join De Ferran Dragon Racing for the upcoming season," according to Curt Cavin of the INDIANAPOLIS STAR. Kanaan: "I came up with some money, but not enough for (de Ferran's team). The bottom line now is, who will give me a deal and for how many races?" Kanaan is "shopping for the best available deal,” but he said that he “doesn't expect to get more than a few races this season.” Kanaan's comments yesterday came after he “announced a sponsorship program” with Itaipava, a Brazilian beer company “that also will support Helio Castroneves” (INDYSTAR.com, 2/22). de Ferran Dragon in December announced Kanaan would drive a full-season car sponsored by Hewlett Packard in '11. He was let go by Andretti Autosport after the '10 season after 7-Eleven ended its long-time association with the driver (THE DAILY).

SIGN ON THE DOTTED LINE: SPEEDTV.com’s Marshall Pruett reported Andretti Autosport has signed DHL to serve as the “co-primary sponsor of Ryan Hunter-Reay's No. 37 Izod IndyCar Series entry." Hunter-Reay said, “They will be a great partner for our team, and it’s a multi-year deal.” Hunter-Reay “has assumed the senior role” among the Andretti Autosport drivers after the departure of Kanaan. With DHL “helping to solve a significant portion of the 30-year-old driver’s funding" for the next few seasons, his "future with the team is more secure than ever.” The “livery for Hunter-Reay’s car will be revealed early next month” with the No. 37 to “initially feature DHL’s familiar colors of yellow, red and white.” Hunter-Reay said, “DHL has some pretty exciting ideas for their brand and promoting it through IndyCar and Andretti Autosport. I’m really looking forward to it.” Pruett noted DHL will also “serve as an associate sponsor on the entry for Mike Conway, Andretti’s most recent signing” (SPEEDTV.com, 2/22).

ENGINE CHECK: Sarah Fisher Racing has named Indianapolis-based Allison Transmission “as an associate sponsor of Ed Carpenter’s car in the Indy 500” (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 2/23).
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