SBD/April 1, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship

Wheels & Deals: Kellogg's To Serve As Dario's Primary Sponsor For Two Races

Kellogg's paint scheme will adorn Franchitti's IndyCar Series ride for two races
Target Chip Ganassi Racing has signed a deal with the Kellogg Company for it to be the primary sponsor of Dario Franchitti's No. 10 Izod IndyCar Series ride for two races. Franchitti will drive the Kellogg's Honda Dallara during the May 1 Itaipava Sao Paulo Indy 300 and the Sept. 4 Baltimore Grand Prix (TCGR). Meanwhile, Pennsylvania-based Kennametal Inc.'s Widia Products Group will be the primary sponsor of Earnhardt Ganassi Racing's No. 1 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series ride driven by Jamie McMurray for Sunday's Goody's Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway. Kennametal, which "has been a secondary sponsor of race cars," did not disclose the cost of the primary sponsorship (Pittsburgh TRIBUNE-REVIEW, 3/31).

BALTIMORE GRAND PRIX SIGNS SPONSORS: In Baltimore, Ryan Sharrow reported the IndyCar Baltimore Grand Prix has signed 10 "new sponsorships, including deals with Sunoco, Geico and AirTran Airways." Sunoco will serve as the "official fuel partner and pit lane sponsor," while AirTran will be the race's official airline. Other sponsors signing deals include Transamerica, Greenspring Energy, Enoch Office Products and HVM Racing. Deals also are "in place with Tequila Patron ... Bacardi Rums, Jack Daniels Tennessee Whiskey, Grey Goose Vodkas and Jagermeister." All five alcohol brands "will serve their spirits at the race." Terms of all the deals were not disclosed (BIZJOURNALS.com, 3/31).

THE IRON BOWL HITS THE TRACK: YAHOO SPORTS' Matt Hinton reported Aaron's has unveiled the Auburn Univ.-inspired paint scheme it will use on Michael Waltrip's No. 15 Sprint Car entry in the Aaron's 499 at Talladega Superspeedway on April 17. The paint scheme "will commemorate Auburn's BCS championship" over the Univ. of Oregon. Aaron's "put itself on the hook last year by unveiling a Crimson Tide-themed car at Talladega to commemorate Alabama's BCS championship in January 2010" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 3/31).

NOTES: NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. is appearing in a new TV commercial for Nationwide Insurance that began airing Wednesday (Nationwide)....All Sport Body Quencher will be the primary sponsor of Tommy Baldwin Racing's No. 36 car driven by Dave Blaney at the Goody's Fast Relief 500 Sunday (TBR)....Shell and the Common Ground Alliance have teamed up to raise awareness of 811, the national "Call Before You Dig" number, during National Safe Digging Month in April. The 811 logo will appear on Penske Racing's No. 22 Sprint Cup car driven by Kurt Busch (Shell).
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