Golden Corral has sponsored No. 36 at Daytona, Talladega this season
After testing the value of sponsoring Tommy Baldwin Racing's No. 36 car at two races, Golden Corral yesterday announced it will step up to sponsor the car for 19 of the 28 remaining NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races. The Raleigh-based restaurant sponsored the No. 36 Chevrolet, driven by Dave Blaney, at this year's Daytona 500 and the Cup race earlier this month at Talladega. The value of the one-year deal was not available. Golden Corral VP/Marketing & Media Ed Gleich said that the restaurant chain and team are already talking about extending the deal. Gleich: "It's safe to say based on performance that we'd be interested long term. We love the sport." The deal marks a return to the sport for Golden Corral, which sponsored Atlanta's Sprint Cup race from '04-06. Gleich: "We know our customer is absolutely a NASCAR fan and we know there's great synergy in getting our message out through the NASCAR community." Through the remainder of the season, Golden Corral will run a special promotion, "Racing for America's Families," that will give families the chance to feed as many as two kids for free with the purchase of one adult meal each time the No. 36 car finishes in the top 10. The company ran the promotion earlier this year and saw great awareness for it as Blaney ran in the top 10 until the final 10 laps at both Daytona and Talladega. Gleich: "We saw a great return on our investment. We're in the media world so we look at what you get for media value. When cars run in the front of the pack as they did in Daytona and Talladega, we got great exposure" (Tripp Mickle, SportsBusiness Journal). Golden Corral "will make a $5,000 donation to the Disabled American Veterans on behalf of its operators for each top-10 finish." TBR also has secured sponsorship from Big Red soft drink "for five additional races" (SCENEDAILY.com, 4/27).